Trump thanks Gardner, Portman for 'early and warm' 2020 endorsement

Trump thanks Gardner, Portman for 'early and warm' 2020 endorsement
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump mocks wind power: 'When the wind doesn't blow, just turn off the television' Pentagon investigator probing whether acting chief boosted former employer Boeing Trump blasts McCain, bemoans not getting 'thank you' for funeral MORE thanked two Republican senators on Friday after they offered an early endorsement of his reelection run despite not supporting him for office in 2016.

In a tweet Friday afternoon, the president thanked Sens. Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerOvernight Health Care: CDC pushes for expanding HIV testing, treatment | Dem group launches ads attacking Trump on Medicare, Medicaid cuts | Hospitals, insurers spar over surprise bills | O'Rourke under pressure from left on Medicare for all Dem group launches ads attacking Trump's 'hypocrisy on Medicare and Medicaid cuts' Trump keeps tight grip on GOP MORE (R-Colo.) and Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanTrump faces political risks in fight over GM plant GOP moves to rein in president's emergency powers The 25 Republicans who defied Trump on emergency declaration MORE (R-Ohio) after the two told right-leaning news site Independent Journal Review they would back his reelection in 2020.

"Thank you to Senator Rob Portman and Senator Cory Gardner for the early and warm endorsement. We will ALL WIN in 2020 together!" Trump tweeted.

Portman and Gardner both declined to support Trump in 2016, with Portman withdrawing his support following the release of an "Access Hollywood" tape in which the president makes lewd comments about women. Gardner at the time called for the GOP to replace Trump with a candidate who could defeat his then-opponent, Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump mocks wind power: 'When the wind doesn't blow, just turn off the television' Trump's approval rating stable at 45 percent Kellyanne Conway: 'I think my gender helps me with the president' MORE (D), in the general election.

The two said this week that they had both made up their minds to support Trump after viewing the field of likely Democratic candidates running in 2020.

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“Look, there are things here — look, I’ve made it very clear that where I agree with the president, we will agree or where I disagree, we will disagree,” Gardner told IJR. “But I’m going to fight like hell for Colorado, and we’ve done some good things for Colorado."

“I know what Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisJ.J. Abrams, Shonda Rhimes to host Kamala Harris fundraiser Warren, Klobuchar call on FTC to curtail use of non-compete clauses Pollster says 'it's certainly not looking good' for Trump ahead of 2020 MORE and I know what Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersWarren, Klobuchar call on FTC to curtail use of non-compete clauses RNC says it raised .6 million in February Pollster says 'it's certainly not looking good' for Trump ahead of 2020 MORE will do to Colorado, and that’s why I’ll be supporting the president,” he added.

Gardner, who beat an incumbent Democrat in 2014, faces a tough reelection race in a state Clinton won in 2016. Portman outpaced Trump in Ohio when he won his 2016 reelection race.

“I intended to support the Republican incumbent,” Portman added to IJR. "What changed? Well, he’s the incumbent. I mean, he’s in office, I work with him every day. I disagree with him publicly and privately when appropriate. But I also get a lot done, and I get that done with him. So we work with the White House, and I think that’s important for Ohio."