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Backed by Trump: Several GOP candidates get the endorsement of former president

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Former President Donald Trump has announced a number of endorsements for Republican candidates, proving aides correct who predicted over the last several weeks that he would be jumping back into the political arena.

Trump is backing the 2022 reelection bid of South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster, noting that he “has been a great Governor for the wonderful people” of the state.

“He is strong on the military, our vets, crime, and the second amendment. He has also been a fabulous chief executive for his state. Henry has my complete and total endorsement as he runs for re-election,” the former president noted further.

For his part, McMaster acknowledged Trump’s endorsement on Twitter Friday, saying he “has made America stronger and more prosperous.”

“I’ve stood with him from the beginning. I’m honored he stands with me as we ‘Keep South Carolina Great,’” McMaster added.

Also earning a Trump endorsement was Tim Griffin, Arkansas’ lieutenant governor who announced last month he was going to run for the state attorney general’s office. 

“Tim will be tough on Crime, defend our Second Amendment, loves our Military and our Vets, and will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the brave Men and Women of Law Enforcement,” said Trump, adding that Griffin had his “complete and total endorsement.”

Griffin initially announced a bid for Arkansas governor but he decided instead to run for state AG after Trump’s former press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, announced a gubernatorial run.

Trump issued his third endorsement of a candidate who had yet to formally announce he was running for reelection: Idaho GOP Sen. Mike Crapo.

The senator has said previously that he planned to run again but had not officially announced it yet. Nevertheless, he was happy to get the former president’s backing.

“Mike is tough on Crime, Strong on the Border, and fights for our Military and our Vets,” Trump said of Crapo, who is in his fourth term.  “He will continue to be a Champion for our Second Amendment and the great Outdoorsmen and Women of Idaho and the USA.”

“Over the past four years, we made great progress implementing strong, conservative policies,” Crapo told Fox News in a statement. “I will keep working hard to achieve solutions based on our Constitution and conservative principles and values.”

Following the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol Building and subsequent second impeachment, the former prez had been relatively quiet, having been deplatformed from all major social media.

Some observers speculated that his silence was purposeful, however, and that at the right time he would reenter the political stage.

That came last weekend at the Conservative Political Action Conference during a highly anticipated keynote speech to close out this year’s annual event in Orlando on Sunday.

Some Republicans in Washington have said the party needs to move on from Trump, implying that he was responsible for losing the GOP losing the House in 2018 and the White House and Senate in 2020.

But others strongly reject that, saying that his conservative populism is what will carry the party to victory in 2022 and beyond.

“President Trump has taught us a lot about appealing to working-class voters, he made our party the working-class party again,” Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., the head of the Republican Study Committee, said during a CPAC panel discussion last week.

Jon Dougherty

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