GOP Donor Warns Trump 'Cult,' Candidates Trying to 'Out-MAGA Each Other' Hurting Party

A major Republican donor said Friday he believes that the party needs to "move on" from the last presidential election and should back candidates who "acknowledge what happened" in 2020, when President Joe Biden won defeated Donald Trump.

The donor, Dan Eberhart, who is also the CEO of oilfield services company Canary, warned that GOP candidates focusing on the 2020 contest and Trump's election fraud claims could hurt the party's outcome in the 2022 midterms.

On Friday, CNN host Erin Burnett asked Eberhart about recent comments made by Republican candidates who decline to say that Joe Biden won the 2020 election.

Burnett mentioned a debate in Minnesota this week during which five Republican candidates for Minnesota governor avoided saying that Biden won the election in 2020.

She also played a segment of an interview with Ohio GOP Senate candidate Josh Mandel from Friday. In that interview, with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, Mandel said he did not believe Biden won the election, and that the results in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Georgia should be investigated.

"These are current Republican candidates on the ballot," Burnett said before turning to the GOP donor.

GOP Donor Warns Trump ‘Cult,’ Hurting Party
Major Republican donor Dan Eberhart said Friday the party needs to "move on" from the last presidential election and should back candidates who "acknowledge what happened" in 2020. Above, former President Donald Trump on October 18 in New York City. James Devaney

"The problem for the party is all this kind of stuff to try to win a primary, to out-MAGA the other people—we've got this kind of thing going on in primaries in the Senate campaign in Ohio, the Senate campaign in Pennsylvania and elsewhere. It's all destructive to winning in 2022," Eberhart said.

"This circular firing squad to out-MAGA each other is really creating the seeds of our own destruction," he added.

Eberhart noted that following historical precedent, Republicans should have a "smashing victory" in the House in 2022—the party of the incumbent president tends to lose seats during midterm elections.

"And I think we're sowing the seeds of our own defeat here. We really need to get behind common-sense candidates that acknowledge what happened," Eberhart said.

"Look, we ran a good campaign, we tried...I wanted Trump to win, but he lost. We've got to move on as a party so we can move forward, so we can take the House back and the Senate back, and we should be focused on hitting back at Biden's policies, not focus on this cult of personality with Trump."

Recent polls have shown Republicans with an advantage over Democrats in the upcoming midterms. A survey released by CNBC last week found that 34 percent of respondents said they preferred Democrats in control of Congress, while 44 percent said they prefer Republicans.