Allies of Donald Trump as well as GOP operatives and Republicans considering a 2024 presidential run increasingly believe that the former president is laying the groundwork for a third White House bid.
The 45th president has hinted off and on for months that he was considering tossing his hat in the ring to face off once more against President Joe Biden as he remains the most influential and strongly backed potential GOP contender ahead of the next election cycle.
But, as The Hill reports, in recent weeks Trump “has begun to signal that he may be more likely to run again than not,” which is complicating things for a number of other potential GOP candidates who have also begun to plan campaigns of their own but who likely won’t run if the former president jumps in.
Trump remains more influential within the GOP than any other major figure and “running against him in a primary would be a major political risk for any ambitious Republican,” The Hill reported, adding that, of the limited polling that’s been done thus far, Trump beats the next-closest primary opponent by double digits.
In the past, Trump has indicated he wants to wait and see what happens during the midterm elections next year, the thinking being that should Republicans retake either chamber of Congress — or, more desirably, both chambers — that would make his 2024 decision easier.
But nevertheless, until he decides what he wants to do, that will make it harder for other prospective candidates to plan as well, though some GOP insiders believe Trump’s indifference won’t be a deciding preparation factor in the interim.
“I think [Trump running] feels like more of a possibility now than it did before,” an aide to a Republican who is thinking about a 2024 run told The Hill. “That doesn’t mean you stop what you’re doing altogether. Until he says what he’s going to do, that’s not an option.”
The source added: “That being said, yeah, I think he’s putting a lot of candidates on notice, reminding them that he’s still in the mix.”
A number of Republicans who either worked for the former president or are allied with him have said they believe he’ll run in 2024.
“I think he’s gonna run,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) told the Des Moines Register earlier this month in Iowa, where the first primaries will be held.
“I want him to run. He’s proven he can take the heat. We’re at a moment now where you’ve got to have someone who’s willing to fight, willing to stand up to all the abuses,” Jordan, who speaks regularly to Trump, added.
A video clip posted by Lauren Windsor of The Undercurrent features Jordan adding context to his belief that Trump will run.
Jim Jordan: President Trump, he's gonna run again.
Pete: You think so?
Jordan: I know so. Yeah, I talked to him yesterday. He's about ready to announce after all of this craziness in Afghanistan… pic.twitter.com/Ndogdm7Ipl
— Lauren Windsor (@lawindsor) September 3, 2021
“You think so?” someone off-camera is heard saying when Jordan said Trump will run again.
“I know so, yeah, I talked to him yesterday. He’s about ready to announce after all of this craziness in Afghanistan,” the Ohio Republican said.
Former Trump adviser Jason Miller, who is a co-founder of the GETTR social media platform, also said he thinks his former boss is in, and partly for the same reason Jordan mentioned.
“I would say somewhere between 99 and 100%. I think he is definitely running in 2024,” he told Cheddar TV’s J.D. Durkin. “He has not said the magical words to me, but if you talk to him for a few minutes it’s pretty clear that he’s running, and I think just what we’ve seen unfold in Afghanistan recently has really just emboldened that.”
In August, Taylor Budowich, a spokesman for Trump’s Save America PAC, confirmed that the former president has hired veteran GOP operatives in Iowa, another signal he is considering a run.
The operatives, Eric Branstad and Alex Latcham, will be assisting on on “many political matters,” Budowich told Bloomberg News.
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