The Never Trump coalition has long employed the tactic of using establishment Republicans (RINOs) to attempt to undermine his strong base of support, which has carried him successfully through countless propaganda blitzkriegs over the years.
Establishment figures like John Bolton, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu (who was recently on the primary trail boosting Nikki Haley), et al. are regular fixtures, for instance, on MSNBC.
Consider the irony of a Republican governor appearing on de facto state media with the former press secretary (propagandist) for the sitting Democrat president, and you’ll have gleaned insight into how we ended up in this mess. The Uniparty Swamp still controls the levers of power to a large extent; Trump barely put a dent in its grip during his tenure.
Jonathon Lamire, Robin to Morning Joe’s Batman, in the context of a recent Biden campaign ad using clips of Nikki Haley and other Republicans attacking Trump and questioning his mental acuity, let the cat out of the bag strategy-wise:
[Our anti-Trump propaganda] is aided by Nikki Haley. What’s the value of [Nikki Haley] staying in the Republican race? You see it right there because she’s talking about it and that allows the Biden campaign to highlight words from a fellow Republican. It’s not just a partisan attack; it’s another member of the GOP who is reaching out to voters that simply Joe Biden would never be able to do so. And this helps blunt some of the Republican attacks on President Biden’s age… and it gives them an attack line on Donald Trump.
What Beltway strategists posing as journalists like Lamire don’t understand, or perhaps may intuit but can’t do anything about, is that the more they trot out Nikki Haley to attack Trump, and the more they attack Trump themselves, his base of support simply hardens. Trump supporters hate the corporate media exponentially more than they could ever hate any scandalous behavior on Trump’s part, real or invented.
The essential problem here is one of cachet—specifically, that the corporate state media has none with the GOP base or independents. The only people likely to be swayed in their opinions are already solidly on board with the Brandon entity and the interests that it represents.