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American Greatness editor on how Trump's abandonment of populism affected 2020 election

Assistant editor of the conservative website American Greatness Pedro Gonzalez on Thursday said that President TrumpDonald TrumpWarren says Republican party 'eating itself and it is discovering that the meal is poisonous' More than 75 Asian, LGBTQ groups oppose anti-Asian crime bill McConnell says he's 'great admirer' of Liz Cheney but mum on her removal MORE’s abandonment of his populist agenda affected the 2020 election. 

Gonzalez told Hill.TV’s “Rising” that Trump’s populist economic campaign in 2016 was a “huge part” of his appeal as he was “the first populist to run in a lifetime.” 

“I think that the benefit of this was being divorced from the establishment orthodoxy ... the ideological affinity for free trade and tax cuts and things like that — things that are really kind of falling out of style with most Americans who no longer see these things as in their interest,” he said. 

Gonzalez said experts are “still trying to figure out what happened” in the 2020 election but said Trump strayed from his populism campaign during his presidency.

“By the end of his presidency, he was basically governing like Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanBiden's relationship with top House Republican is frosty The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Emergent BioSolutions - Facebook upholds Trump ban; GOP leaders back Stefanik to replace Cheney Budowsky: Liz Cheney vs. conservatives in name only MORE,” he said. “That’s not how he campaigned.”

“Now there are some elements of the Trump movement that are trying to kind of say, ‘Well, actually this is a good thing, and the Trump era, the Trump moment was entirely cultural,’ ” he added. “ ‘And in fact, Trump was a kind of needed return to Reaganomics' — in other words ... the very ideas that he challenged and made him so popular.”