Trump-era GOP strategist accused of ‘delicious’ Freudian slip about ‘white suburban’ voters

Matt Gorman was the National Republican Congressional Committee’s communications director from 2017-18
Matt Gorman was the National Republican Congressional Committee’s communications director from 2017-18
Sky News screengrab

A Trump-era GOP strategist has been accused of a making “delicious” Freudian slip after he corrected himself for suggesting the party had been targeting “white suburban” voters.

Matt Gorman, who worked as the National Republican Congressional Committee’s communications director between January 2017 and December 2018, appeared on Sky News on Monday to discuss the prospect of Donald Trump running as the GOP’s candidate in the 2024 US election.

Asked whether the party would have better prospects if Trump were no longer a factor, Gorman replied: “I think the biggest balance is how we as a party – certainly we have appealed and we should continue to appeal to white suburban, or excuse me, the working class, blue collar workers – but also how do we appeal to those suburban voters.”

With Trump having appeared content to fuel racism and discrimination in his bid for power – from denigrating Mexicans and Muslims during his 2016 campaign, to emboldening far-right groups like the Proud Boys in 2020 – many on social media leapt on what they saw as an accidental admission that the party’s strategy had been to appeal to white voters.

And some even said they had expected Gorman to accidentally say the party had been appealing to “white supremacist” voters.

Meanwhile, others viewed it through the lens of Trump’s attempt to paint himself as a champion of the working class.

But it appears that Gorman – now vice president at the Republican strategy firm Targeted Victory – truly was disappointed with the party’s performance among suburban voters in 2020 – which he cited as the reason why Trump lost the election.

He continued: “We got blown out on Election Day, especially if you look at the Georgia run-offs. We can’t lose a suburb by 15 to 25 points. We need to find a way to shrink that margin, but again keep those blue-collar workers.

Adding that the party “did a fantastic job on Election Day with people of colour”, Gorman said: “But again we can’t keep getting blown out in the suburbs, and that was a huge part of why we didn’t win the Senate, especially in the Georgia run-offs and why Donald Trump is not president again.”

Trump’s former White House Cabinet secretary William McGinley, who was also on the programme, agreed that one of the areas the GOP needs to “start working on is the suburbs”, adding: “I think the party is going to start focusing on growing Republican voters as opposed to just trying to drill down and focus on the base, and I think that’s going to be a winning strategy for 2022.”

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