Donald Trump: Leading Republicans ignore his candidacy

Presidential Election 2024
Leading Republicans are ignoring Donald Trump’s candidacy – and one is taking a stand

Former US President Donald Trump announces his candidacy at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.

© Andrew Harnik/AP/DPA

Donald Trump’s re-election as presidential candidate has met with little enthusiasm in parts of his party. Leading Republicans are currently struggling to simply ignore them.

The fact that Donald Trump wants to run again for the Republicans for the US presidency in 2024 has put the party in trouble. Should we give the election loser of 2020 another try, whom many also blame for the collapse of the Grand Old Party (GOP) at the Midterms? Or wouldn’t it be better to heed the old wisdom of the Dakota Indians: “If you find yourself riding a dead horse, dismount.”

Leading Republicans and potential rivals within Trump’s party in the fight for the White House are currently shirking an answer to this question – above all Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is said to have ambitions for the highest office in the state. At a press conference on Wednesday, he brushed aside reference to an impending “civil war within the GOP” in which “people will have to choose between you and Donald Trump” with the words: “We’ve only just got through this election, okay ?People just need to calm down a little bit about these things.”

DeSantis, without uttering Trump’s name, said it was far too early for Republicans to focus on the next presidential election. Instead, he is concentrating on his government work in Florida and on the runoff in Georgia on December 6th. There, the Republican Herschel Walker wants to take the last remaining Senate seat after the midterm elections from the Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock.

DeSantis was confirmed in the governorship at the midterms with a convincing result. He has not yet filed any claims for the Republican presidential nomination, but is considered a promising candidate.

Many questions but few answers about Donald Trump

Ohion Governor Mike DeWine was just as evasive as his Florida counterpart and party colleague when asked about Trump’s candidacy. “It’s a little early to comment on the presidential race,” DeWine said at the Republican Association of Governors’ Association meeting in Orlando on Wednesday. “We’re still trying to analyze what happened a week ago.” DeWine also secured his re-election by a clear margin. He is among Republicans who refuse to repeat Trump’s lie about the stolen 2020 election.

Top Republican Mitch McConnell also declined to comment on the 2024 primary. “The way I’m going into this primary season is that I’m staying out of it,” McConnell said when asked. “I have no horse in this race.”

The GOP Senate spokesman, who has kept his distance from Trump for some time, admitted that his party did not sufficiently convince moderate Republicans and independent voters in the midterm elections. “They looked at us and came to the conclusion: too much chaos, too much negativity,” McConnell explained. As an example, he eloquently listed states in which candidates supported by Trump failed, but did not name the ex-president.

Donald Trump speaks at his Mar-a-Lago estate.  The former US President wants to run again for the Republicans in the 2024 presidential election.

The leader of the Republicans in the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, was tied even shorter. When the Trump loyalist was asked by reporters on Wednesday if he supported the 76-year-old’s candidacy, he just walked away.

Mike Pence positions himself

Not all GOP celebrities are running away from the primary question, though: Former Vice President Mike Pence brought himself up in one Interview with the Associated Press news agency implicitly even as a candidate himself. Voters would be “looking for a new leadership that could unite our country based on our highest ideals and that reflects the respect and courtesy that Americans show one another every day,” Pence said. He and his family would be getting together over the holidays “and we will be pondering reverently what our role might be in the days ahead.”

Pence declined to say whether he thinks Trump is fit to return to the White House given the role he played in the storming of the Capitol on January 6, 2021. The 63-year-old left no doubt what he thinks of his former boss: “I think we will have a better selection in 2024,” he explained. “I am very confident that Republican voters will make wise choices in the primary.”

Sources: Northwest Florida Daily News, Associated Press I, Associated Press II, “Business Insiders”

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