Republicans cringe as Trump 2024 approaches

Trump is watching closely who in the GOP leadership has endorsed him, even before he officially announces he is running for president again, which he is expected to do Tuesday night. But if he expects an avalanche of support, he will wait a bit. Even his staunchest allies refused to offer an endorsement on Monday.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (RS.C.), who has backed Trump through thick and thin since his former rival became president, said “let’s see what he says… I’ll tell you after Georgia.” Lummis added that she is “a bit disappointed that, if [Trump] announces something, that it will be a distraction from the race in Georgia.

And the senator. Josh Haley (R-Mo.), who raised objections to President Joe Biden’s election victory, said his main goal was to figure out why congressional Republicans got so wrong in their projections of a dominant election. Hawley tries to oust Mitch McConnell as GOP leader, a key Trump priority, though GOP leaders said Monday they have no plans to delay Wednesday’s leadership election.

“Not to take anything away from people who want to run for president, but the most important thing is that we have to have a serious discussion. And it has to start here, on what our beliefs are as a party,” Hawley said.

He stressed that the GOP should incorporate elements of Trumpism as it moves forward. “There will be time for personality contests later. And this is not a blow to the former president.

On the House side, party leaders like Elise Stefanik (RN.Y.), Richard Hudson (RN.C.) and hopeful whip Jim Banks (R-Ind.) has already promised to support Trump even before his candidacy is official, which most expect will happen Tuesday night at Mar-a-Lago. Unsurprisingly, Senate Republicans are giving an even colder reception after watching their majority dreams evaporate before their eyes with Trump-backed candidates in key races.

John Thune of South Dakota, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, had no qualms Monday saying he would not endorse Trump in a contested primary. Neither did Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), said, “No. I’m sure I’ll support the GOP nominee, but I think there will likely be a competitive primary election. Both are potential successors to McConnell, who declined to comment.

“It’s clear that running in the 2020 election relaunch is not a winning strategy,” Thune said. “I don’t approve of anyone at this point.”

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) said he had ‘no comment’ on Trump’s likely run while Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) said he wasn’t taking any questions .

Some are more outspoken about Trump in private, a sign that not everyone is comfortable speaking publicly and risking their wrath.

“In a tight race in a Republican primary, there are other people I would support,” said a base House Republican, speaking candidly on condition of anonymity. “I can make a strong case where he cost us the House in ’18, cost us the Senate in ’22. And cost us the White House in 20. And yet he wants us to hire him back because he loves the attention.

In the House, where Trump typically has more support among the base, lawmakers said they would look forward to Tuesday night and touted his record as president. But few were willing to commit to endorsing it, saying they wanted to see how the rest of the 2024 field would shape up and would closely monitor Trump’s likely campaign rollout.

“He has a record. He’s proven that’s how he can perform,” the rep said. Dan Meuser (R-Pa.) said. “So absolutely, I’m going to give him a lot of attention. But I’ll withhold an endorsement until we see where things go.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthymeanwhile, declined to comment on Trump’s 2024 ambitions as he emerged from a closed-door GOP conference on Monday night centered on the leadership election: “We’ll see what happens there, but right now we are working on getting Congress back.”

Trump’s preemptive attack on two promising potential Republican challengers for 2024 — DeSantis and Glenn Youngkin of Virginia — is also heightening tensions with fellow Republicans. Since the election, Trump has publicly mocked Youngkin’s name and attacked “Ron Desanctimonious” as insufficiently loyal.

Both men have won battlefield races for governor for the past two years.

“I don’t understand why he’s going after DeSantis,” Rep. Ralph Norman (RS.C.), a member of the pro-Trump House Freedom Caucus. “He’s basically enforcing Trump’s policy. Look what he did in Florida. It’s the only state where we’ve had a red day. They are in lockdown policies.

Congressional Republicans were slow to embrace Trump in the 2016 cycle, but by the time he ran for re-election, nearly the entire party was behind him. This time, Trump starts somewhere in between — and even those who support him don’t pander to his every whim.

Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) Said he would support Trump, but also backs McConnell as GOP leader.

“Is that an oxymoron? Tuberville asked rhetorically, referring to the longstanding bad blood between the two men. “Everyone has their opinion. As I just said, I represent Alabama.

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