Mike Rogers on possible White House bid: ‘America is looking for new leadership’

AP Photo/Meg Kinnard
Former Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., speaks at the Vision ’24 conference’ on Saturday, March 18, 2023, in North Charleston, S.C. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard)

Former Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), once the chairman of the powerful House Intelligence Committee, is eyeing a possible White House bid, saying in an interview this week that if he ran, he’d focus on running in a “more civil, more solutions-oriented lane.”

“What we’re doing is calling for really unique, creative solutions to all the problems everybody’s talking about, but we’re just not admiring the problem,” Rogers told The Hill on Thursday. “And so there’s a lane for a solutions-oriented, optimistic, not-admiring-the-problem candidate.”

Though the Republican presidential primary is expected to be a crowded field with recognizable names like former President Trump and former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley, Rogers told The Hill on Thursday that it’s not deterring him from weighing a possible run, arguing that he could offer voters something different.

Rogers, who last served in Congress more than a decade ago and is a former FBI agent, pointed to the country’s literacy proficiency, lowering the cost of Medicare and the situation at the southern border as key issues to solve. 

“I do believe that America is looking for new leadership,” the former congressman said. “I mean, people know something is wrong. They feel it.”

“If you look at the places that Donald Trump won in ‘16, lost in ‘20, we doubled down on that Trump, Trump-lite lane candidate in 2022. We didn’t do well, we got shellacked and people are saying, ‘Listen, the country is absolutely going in the wrong direction.’ And they don’t see leadership that actually fixes problems.”

Rogers has already traveled to early presidential primary states like Iowa and New Hampshire, where he said he’s been getting invited back. He suggested that he can be competitive against other declared candidates if he decides to jump into the race by focusing on early presidential primary states and old-fashioned retail politicking. 

“What happens in these races – and this is a whole new game of races – that you just need to get known where you need to get known in the first early primaries. You need to have a win, place or show, and the rest of that problem takes care of itself. And so we’ve been focusing on the retail politics nature of those states, in the sense that here’s where we think America needs to go,” he said.

“All the name recognition helps fundraising for sure for those candidates. Good on ‘em,” he added. “But we’re doing it a different way. It’s very retail-oriented, and it’s places where people actually walk in a booth and pull a lever. We’re having conversations with those folks.”

Asked about a possible timeline for when he’ll make a decision, he noted that most candidates are likely going to have to make their moves by mid-summer.

At the same time, Rogers’s state will also be home to a competitive Senate race with Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) retiring after her term. Rogers said that he’s been “very flattered and humbled” by some within Michigan who have asked him to consider a bid for the upper chamber. 

“You never say ‘never’ in politics, but I’m not inclined [at] this time to do that,” he said of a possible Senate bid.

The former House Intel chairman also offered a hopeful tone about the new House majority, saying “they’re doing some really good things” while adding that “time will tell” given the newness of the Republican majority. 

But he cautioned his colleagues against using their new majority as a revenge tour.

“I have been telling all the former colleagues that I bump into and have conversations with, if the only thing that we’re doing as [a] Republican majority in the House is taking revenge, we are doing no service to the United States of America,” he said. “And sometimes the country needs us more than our party ever will need us, and I think it’s that time that we have to focus on real solutions.”

Tags 2024 election 2024 Republican primary Michigan Mike Rogers Mike Rogers

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