Trump Backs Off ‘Retribution’ Narrative – No Time for That

By Jerry McConway, updated on January 11, 2024

Donald Trump finally seems to be reading the feedback to his longtime narrative about going into the White House for revenge.

During Trump’s Town Hall event on Fox News, while DeSantis and Haley were debating on CNN, Trump tried to reverse the narrative that a second term for him would be all about revenge on his enemies.

Talking Points…
- Retribution
- Trump reversal
- Analysis

Trump Looking for Retribution

For months, Donald Trump has been promoting the idea that a second term for him would be all about retribution, even posting a meme on Truth Social that was filled with synonyms for retribution and revenge. For instance, in March, during the CPAC convention, Trump told the crowd:

“I am your warrior, I am your justice. And for those who have been wronged and betrayed, I am your retribution.”

Trump has met heavy criticism over this, especially with Americans reeling economically. He continued to make this about himself rather than the American people, and his critics feasted on this. For instance, Sarah Matthews, a former Trump White House and campaign press aide who resigned over the Jan. 6 riots, stated:

“His policies are not centered around improving the lives of his supporters or Americans in general, it’s centered around consolidating power for Trump, and that way he can wield it to enact that revenge on anyone he deems as an enemy.”

Trump Reverses Narrative

It would appear that Trump finally got the message that he needed to soften this narrative if he expects anyone but his MAGA supporters to vote for him in the general election. During Trump’s Fox News Town Hall, Bret Baier asked Trump about the retribution narrative and Trump settling his grievances with his enemies. Trump responded:

“Well, first of all, a lot of people would say that that’s not so bad, look what they did – Russia, Russia Russia hoax, the FBI/Twitter hoax, the 51 intelligence agents hoax, all of these different hoaxes that they did.

“A lot of people would say, that’s probably quite normal. I’m not going to have time for retribution. We’re going to make this country so successful again, I’m not gonna have time for retribution. And remember this, our ultimate retribution is success.”

Analysis

So, this all comes down to whether or not you believe Trump and believe that he has the ability to let all of the wrongs he believes were committed against him go. From experience, that is not how Trump operates.

Trump still has a commanding lead in the polling, but he has slipped back just a bit and the Democrat Party has yet to hit Trump, but when they do, they are going to concentrate on his activities on January 6, 2021, as well as his comments about being a “dictator” and this “retribution” angle.

When they do this, it will make Trump angry again, and he will surely lash out on Truth Social, which will cost him votes. Democrats have already twisted the “dictator” narrative, with Whoopi Goldberg telling Liz Cheney during her visit on “The View” this week that there “will be no more elections” if Trump wins because he will make himself a dictator of this country.

Now, that is not even a remote possibility, but that is the narrative that Democrats are going to pitch, and if Trump wants to win, he is going to have to keep his cool. If he goes back to saying what he has been pitching for the last year, it will cost him votes on the conservative side of the aisle, and these are votes that he cannot afford to lose.

About Jerry McConway

Jerry McConway is an independent political author and investigator who lives in Dallas, Texas. He has spent years building a strong following of readers who know that he will write what he believes is true, even if it means criticizing politicians his followers support. His readers have come to expect his integrity.

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