Could Mike Lindell be going from My Pillow to My Candidate? The television infomercial salesman turned multi-millionaire is hinting at the possibility.
Lindell, who has been a staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump, and who has said he believes that the 2020 presidential election was stolen, said that the former president backs him for governor of Minnesota if he chooses to go for it, The Associated Press reported.
“Mike, if you did it, I would get behind you,” the “My Pillow” CEO said the former president promised him.
When asked if he thought a Trump endorsement would help him in a state like Minnesota that trump was defeated in both in 2016 and 2020, Lindell said it would.
“Of course it would help. Why wouldn’t it help? The guy was the best president in history,” he said.
It’s a prospect that sends shivers down the spines of some Republicans in the state – where Trump lost by 7 percentage points – and cuts to the heart of the national party’s existential crisis. While many Republicans, particularly those in Washington, are eager to move on from the former president and his personality-driven, racially divisive politics, Trump’s acolytes across the country are already preparing to pick up the torch.
GOP state parties across the country are starting to look ahead to divisive primary fights that will test Trump’s hold on Republican voters. In Wyoming, GOP Rep. Liz Cheney drew a primary challenge shortly after voting to impeach Trump for his role in the deadly riot Jan. 6 at the U.S. Capitol. And in Virginia, which holds its governor’s election this year, a Trump-style Republican, state Sen. Amanda Chase, is running for the party’s nomination, even as she was recently stripped of her committee assignments for comments calling the rioters “patriots.”
In states like Virginia and Minnesota, there’s little evidence that embracing Trump is a path to success for Republicans. Trump lost Virginia by 10 percentage points in November. And despite repeated visits and millions spent in Minnesota, Trump’s campaign tanked in the state, as suburban voters around the Twin Cities soundly rejected him.
Republicans are frightened of a candidate like Lindell, and others like him, as former President Trump is said to be considering starting his own party known as The Patriot Party.
“The Republican brand has become toxic in the eyes of too many young people, formerly supportive suburbanites, women and diverse voters,” former Gov. Tim Pawlenty, said.
“We don’t need to guess how a general election campaign will go here for any candidate viewed mostly as a Trump proxy. Trump lost here twice and it wasn’t even close the second time.”
And he was not the only one who expressed reservations of a Trump run party and the damage it could do to the Republican brand.
“Having differences in the party is fine. Being a party that is adamantly against cancel culture, we need to recognize that purging isn’t good. Let the voters make the decision,” Republican Party Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said. “The only way we win in 2022 is if we start getting rid of this purism and cancel culture in our own party.”