Campaign Report — 2024 GOP field begins to take shape
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Republican presidential hopefuls wade in
Former President Trump’s status as the only prominent official Republican presidential candidate could end this month, with at least one challenger’s announcement expected soon. Other potential candidates’ recent moves suggest the field could continue to grow.
Here are some updates from this week.
Haley on the horizon: Nikki Haley, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under Trump, is expected to announce a presidential bid at a Feb. 15 event in Charleston, South Carolina.
Haley said on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity” last month, “it is time for a new generation. … We have lost the last seven out of eight popular votes for president. It is time that we get a Republican in there that can lead and that can win a general election.” (George W. Bush was the last Republican presidential nominee to win the popular vote, in 2004.)
Haley also served as governor of South Carolina. Our Caroline Vakil gives details about Haley’s background, tenure as ambassador to the U.N., and falling-out with Trump after the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot here.
Listening in: Sen.Tim Scott (R-S.C.) announced a “Faith in America” listening tour with events in South Carolina and Iowa – early nominating contest states – saying it’ll give him “a chance to hear from so many of you as we chart the future of our great country.”
An event in Charleston on Feb. 16 will honor Black History Month, and Scott has two stops in Iowa on Feb. 22. Scott will be running digital ads in Iowa as well, Fox News reported.
Reiterating interest: Former MarylandGov. Larry Hogan (R) reiterated this week that he’s considering a presidential bid on Fox News Channel’s “Your World with Neil Cavuto.”
Hogan called the office of governor a “training ground [where] you’re making important decisions, you’re running an executive branch of government.”
“I think governors are a good place for us to look for leadership at the national level,” he added.
Hogan discussed his political career in a deeply blue state and said the party needs a candidate who can “win over swing voters.” He was term-limited and left office last month.
As we wrote in our last issue, Trump made stops in early primary states New Hampshire and South Carolina over the weekend and has been ramping up his criticisms of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), who has yet to weigh in on speculation about a potential presidential bid.
GOP revamps Senate primary involvement
On Tuesday, National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) chairman Steve Daines (R-Mont.) said he’s “looking forward to working with one of our top recruits this cycle, Jim Banks, to keep Indiana red in 2024.”
Daines released the statement, which praised former Gov. Mitch Daniels (R), shortly after Daniels announced he won’t run for the seat.
The move “marks an official departure from the committee’s policy in the 2022 cycle and makes clear it will play in primary contests in an attempt to win back the upper chamber,” our Al Weaver wrote.
Asked in a December interview with Fox News if the NRSC would get more involved in primaries this cycle, Daines said, “If I have heard one thing since the last election, … Republicans are sick of losing, and we’re gonna do whatever it takes to win. We want to make sure we have candidates that can win general elections.”
The Cook Political Report rates the open race in Indiana solid Republican.
Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-Ind.) is also considering a bid. Banks has nabbed endorsements from former President Trump and the Club for Growth PAC as well, marking an early coalescing of influential forces.
How it was: Then-NRSC chair Rick Scott (R-Fla.) said last year that the party had quality candidates in the general election. Republicans ultimately lost one Senate seat, giving Democrats a more solid 51-49 majority.
At a Christian Science Monitor breakfast last June, Scott defended not getting involved in open primaries. He said, “I don’t think people want Washington to pick who the candidates are. I think the voters in the states want to pick who’s going to represent them.” He also defended Republican candidate Herschel Walker, who’d won Georgia’s May primary and later lost the runoff against Sen. Raphael Warnock (D).
As Al wrote, in purple New Hampshire and Arizona, “Don Bolduc and Blake Masters, political newcomers who tied themselves to Trump, advanced to the general election and were handily defeated.”
Over in the House: National Republican Congressional Committee communications director Jack Pandol told The Hill in an email that the group “has historically not endorsed in open Republican primaries and that will not change for the 2024 cycle.”
Beyond the party’s official campaign arms, the Congressional Leadership Fund – a super PAC endorsed by House Republican leadership – agreed last month with the Club for Growth that the former group will not spend in open primaries in safe GOP districts.
PELOSI TO BACK SCHIFF FOR SENATE IF FEINSTEIN DOESN’T RUN
Former House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will endorse Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) for Senate if California Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) doesn’t seek reelection, according to a statement released by Schiff’s campaign.
Pelosi said Feinstein has her “whole-hearted support” if she runs again, but otherwise, her endorsement will go to Schiff, whom Pelosi said “knows well the nexus between a strong Democracy and a strong economy.”
Twenty other current and former members of Congress from the state also endorsed Schiff.
Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) is running for the seat as well and received early endorsements from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee.
Opening pitches: Schiff’slaunch video highlights his lead role in the first impeachment effort against former President Trump. Schiff says, “I wish I could say the threat of MAGA extremists is over. It is not. … We have to stop them. That’s why I’m running for the U.S. Senate.”
Porter says in her launch video, “California needs a warrior in Washington. That’s exactly why I’m announcing my candidacy[.] … I don’t do Congress the way others often do. I use whatever power I have to speak hard truths to the powers that be.”
Our Jared Gans noted that Reps. Barbara Lee and Ro Khanna have also been discussed as potential Democratic primary candidates.
That’s it for today. Thanks for reading and check out The Hill’s Campaign page for the latest news and coverage. See you next week.
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