“This is a huge political miscalculation,” she said on Fox News’ “Outnumbered” Monday. “You give others the opportunity to shine. You give others two hours to throw lobs at you. And I know former President Trump can dance across the debate stage, can defend himself. But you’re not there to do it yourself, you’re counting on maybe others to step in.”
She also described what she felt to be the “biggest strategic risk” for the former president, suggesting that President Joe Biden could follow his lead and dodge a potential future head-to-head.
McEnany, who spent her time at the White House podium lying and deflecting for Trump, has dialed down the flattery a smidge since he left office, though she continues to defend him and rewrite history about his tenure.
It’s been enough, however, for the former president to turn on her. Earlier this year, he attacked her for sharing poll numbers he didn’t like, calling her “milktoast” and saying “the RINOS & Globalists can have her.”
Trump announced Sunday he will not participate in Wednesday’s GOP debate, the first of the 2024 election cycle, arguing that the American public already “knows who I am.”
He leads the Republican pack by miles in the polls, heading off his closest rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, by more than 40 percentage points on average.
His decision not to attend follows his fourth indictment this year, in Georgia, on racketeering charges over an alleged conspiracy to change the state’s 2020 election results. He has also been federally indicted twice, over his handling of classified documents and attempted coup, and faces state-level charges in New York for falsifying business records.