In case you missed "On the Hill" this Sunday, two political experts joined the show to talk about several big stories coming out of Washington D.C. this week, including how President Biden's approval rating and the January 6 hearings will impact the midterm elections, and whether Donald Trump should be considered the presumptive Republican Presidential candidate in 2024.
Fitzgerald first asked the experts about the midterm elections and how Democrats, who hold the majority in the Senate and House, are feeling heading into the crucial midterm battle and the 2024 Presidential election. Montanaro responded that the elections may come down to key issues like the nation's record high gas prices and inflation, which could spell disaster for Democrats.
"Republicans are still heavily favored to take back the House because of what you’re talking about. I mean, having gas prices what they are being over $5 a gallon, inflation being the highest it's been in, you know, decades, that makes it difficult on a President. Plus, when you look at those approval ratings, you look inside those numbers, 39 percent is one thing, looks pretty similar to what former President Trump had, for example, for quite some time. I think we're stuck in an age of polarization. But you also have independents who’ve really kind of moved away from President Biden," said Montanaro.
Fitzgerald then asked Picket if the January 6 hearings being held on Capitol Hill will impact the midterm and Presidential elections. Picket said they could have an impact, but adds that voters have other more pressing issues on their minds.
"The Democrats are essentially using these hearings, these investigations, essentially like one big, long political ad to really weaken President Trump. And while it certainly has been effective, at the same time, January 6 happened long ago and at the time when it happened, and look I was in the Capitol when it did happen and certainly it shocked everybody and it really angered people, but at the same time, the American people at large, they're beginning to wonder whether or not Democrats are really going to start talking about inflation, talking about bread and butter issues. and that's something that the democrats are really going to have to start balancing in a particular way," Picket tells FOX 5.
Fitzgerald then turned the attention to former President Trump, and his expected 2024 Presidential campaign. He asked the experts about whether other Republicans will run in 2024 against Trump, and how the recent Supreme Court decision on abortion could impact his run.
Montanaro responded about other candidates running in 2024, saying that Trump is the front-runner at the moment.
"President Trump is still the elephant in the room, so to speak. I mean, regardless of who decides that they want to try to run, he's still going to be the person that they're going to have to try to take down and you know, Republican strategists I've talked to have said that one of the problems that they feel that has happened as far as overcoming Trump's strength, is that there's not like a you know, sustained effort to message to the Trump base in the way that Trump does. They feel that he seated the megaphone, that they've seated the megaphone to him. So, I do think that there are some people who at least are challenges, and I do think the January 6 hearings, even if there isn't some kind of prosecutable evidence that comes of it, that there may be a lot of Republicans who say look, we want somebody who culturally is going to be with us, but not necessarily bring all the drama," Montanaro explained.
Adding to former President Trump's moment is the recent Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe V. Wade. Fitzgerald asked if the ruling, which was made possible thanks to Trump's three Justice appointments, will help Trump with his Presidential campaign.
Picket replied that while it could help, it remains a big question heading into the 2024 Presidential Election.
"You see one of the things that a lot of Republicans like to say is ‘oh, we love his policy, we love what he's been able to deliver’ and that is one of the big things that he can certainly take credit for," Picket explained. "At the same time, it's like, those same Republicans usually are kind of praying, ‘please don't shoot yourself in the foot and please just stay off of twitter.’ And that is kind of like the big problem sometimes that they have with him."
As for other Republicans who may run against former President Trump in 2024, the experts said Florida Governor Ron DeSantis could be the biggest challenger.
Make sure to tune into On The Hill every Sunday morning on FOX 5, starting at 8:30 a.m.