Former President Donald Trump tells Fox News that he’d consider it “very disloyal” if members of his former administration end up running against him in the upcoming race for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.
The former president, who repeatedly teases that he’ll launch another White House bid, may not be the only member of his former administration to run in 2024, as former Vice President Mike Pence, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and former ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley have all been making plenty of early moves ahead of potential or likely presidential campaigns.
“Many of them have said they would never run if I run, so we’ll see if that turns out to be true,” Trump answered after Fox News’ host Brian Kilmeade asked how he’d deal with facing former members of his administration.
“I think it would be very disloyal if they did, but that’s OK, too,” Trump added in his Friday appearance on Fox News Radio’s “Brian Kilmeade Show.”
While some potential contenders for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination have indicated they wouldn’t seek the White House if Trump runs again, many have said their decisions will not be based on Trump’s eventual decision.
Trump, in his interview, once again touted extremely early polls in the next presidential race that consistently indicate he’s currently overwhelming front-runner for the GOP nomination.
As for his timetable, Trump reiterated that “I’ll probably decide in the not too distant future.”
Haley returns Tuesday to Iowa — the state whose caucuses for half a century have kicked off the presidential nominating calendar — where she’ll team up on a bus tour with Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds and Reps. Ashley Hinson and Mariannette Miller-Meeks, who are all running for re-election next month.
This past Tuesday, Haley was in New Hampshire — which votes second in the nominating schedule and which for a century’s held the first primary in the White House race. Haley made her second trip in less than month to New Hampshire, to campaign alongside former Army Gen. Don Bolduc, the GOP Senate nominee in the key battleground state.
Pompeo was in Iowa on Friday, on the campaign trail with congressional nominee Zach Nunn and Iowa agriculture secretary Mike Naig.
A dozen Republican politicians, who pundits view as potential or likely contenders for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, will attend the Republican Jewish Coalition’s (RJC) annual leadership meeting next month in Las Vegas.
With the starting gun in the next White House race firing immediately after the Nov. 8 midterm elections, the RJC’s confab will be the first major cattle call of possible Republican presidential contenders.
A release from the RJC, shared first with Fox News on Thursday, lists 15 “key GOP leaders” who will address the conference being held Nov. 18-19 at the Venetian Hotel Resort and Casino. Some names were announced for the first time in the release while others had already appeared on the RJC’s website.
The 12 leaders who are considered potential or likely White House hopefuls speaking at the event are Pence; Pompeo; Haley; Sens. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Ted Cruz of Texas, Bill Hagerty of Tennessee, Rick Scott of Florida and Tim Scott of South Carolina; Govs. Ron DeSantis of Florida, Larry Hogan of Maryland and Chris Sununu of New Hampshire; and former Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey.
Trump, who continues to heavily flirt with making another White House run and appears to be moving toward launching another campaign, was not listed as a speaker at the gathering. He spoke remotely at last year’s confab.
“We are incredibly excited to once again be welcoming key GOP leaders to the RJC Annual Leadership Meeting in Las Vegas this November. Republican Jews from across the country will be celebrating big 2022 victories, and ringing in the first ‘kosher’ 2024 cattle call of the Presidential election cycle,” RJC national political director Sam Markstein told Fox News in a statement.
The RJC’s annual leadership meeting draws top Republican leaders, officials, donors and activists from across the country.
Last year’s event drew such potential 2024 contenders as Pence, Pompeo, Haley, DeSantis, Cruz, who was the runner-up to Trump in the 2016 GOP presidential nomination race, Rick Scott, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, Christie, who also ran for the 2016 GOP nomination, and Sununu. Trump did not attend last year’s conference, but the former president delivered a video address.
Geography is also a selling point for the gathering as the RJC conference is held in Nevada, which in recent presidential cycles has held the fourth contest in the GOP’s presidential primary and caucus calendar.
As he runs for re-election this year, DeSantis is spending the vast majority of his ad dollars in Florida.
And DeSantis — like many other politicians — is using digitals and social media advertising to build what’s already a powerful network of both large top dollar contributors and corporate donors and legions of small dollar grassroots contributors, in Florida and across the country.
While DeSantis consistently brushes off talk by political pundits and prognosticators that he’s a likely contender for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination and emphasizes that he’s only focused on this year’s re-election, where a small portion of DeSantis’ out of state digital ad expenditures are taking place may raise a few eyebrows.
Since DeSantis took over as Florida governor nearly four years ago, his re-election campaign and the affiliated Friends of Ron DeSantis PAC have spent over 113,000 on over 2,522 digital ads in the first four states to hold contests in the GOP presidential nominating calendar, according to the Google Ad Library.
That includes $19,400 on 620 ads in Iowa, $13,000 on 600 ads in New Hampshire, $46,800 on 672 ads in South Carolina, and $34,100 on 630 ads in Nevada.
Among the ads that appeared in Iowa asked “Where should Biden’s busses of illegal immigrants be sent” and included a survey. DeSantis grabbed tons of attention last month by flying migrants from Texas to the progressive bastion of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts
DeSantis, whose popularity has soared among conservatives in Florida and across the country the past two and a half years, courtesy of his forceful pushback against coronavirus pandemic restrictions and his aggressive actions as a culture wars warrior, sparked a new controversy last month with the flying of the migrants to Martha’s Vineyard.
While igniting outrage among Democrats and even some fellow Republicans, the calculated move spotlighted the combustible issue of illegal immigration and border security, which fires up the GOP base but also connects with independent voters who may be frustrated with the Biden administration efforts in handling the surge in border crossings into the U.S. over the past year and a half.
Another ad that appeared in Iowa asked “tell Ron DeSantis your most important issue,” and in another DeSantis in a video urges people to “join the fight.”
Two of the spots that ran in New Hampshire take aim at two favorite targets of conservatives – President Biden and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical adviser to the president and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who’s served as a top adviser to Biden and to then-President Trump in the battle against the coronavirus pandemic.
An ad that ran in South Carolina urged people to “join the fight Governor Ron DeSantis has delivered on Election Security,” and one in Nevada says “support our Top Gov Ron DeSantis.”
The ads suggest DeSantis is continuing to broaden his donor base across the country and build an even stronger nationwide network of supporters.
“Gov. DeSantis is leveraging his national celebrity in his high profile state race to build his lists in other states. This is an attempt to build his fundraising and contact lists in his governors campaign, but obviously in key states like Iowa and New Hampshire, there’s a potential future play he may be considering,” veteran Republican consultant Ryan Williams said.
But Williams added that DeSantis is “not the only one who does this. It’s pretty standard.”
While DeSantis isn’t the only potential 2024 contender to run digital ads in the early voting states, two have run TV spots in some of those states.
Pompeo’s political action committee last month launched an ad campaign in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina to target what he calls “woke polices” by President Biden’s administration that are directed toward the military. And Pence’s public advocacy group has run ads in Iowa.