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Trump may run in 2024. It could be so. Getting awkward.

Written by Jeremy W. Peters

With All the Subtlety of a Bullhorn, Former President Donald Trump Has Been indicated that he plans to run for office again in 2024.

And Republicans are still treating him the same way he displayed while in the White House as they wait to see if he makes his move.

On Saturday afternoon, Trump heads to Iowa for a rally at the state fairgrounds, a perennial stop on the presidential campaign circuit. He will be joined by many of the state’s top Republicans, including Gov. Kim Reynolds, Sen. Charles E. Grassley and Iowa Republican Party Chairman Jeff Kaufman—a testament to the former president’s enduring dominance.

Trump’s reluctance to take the spotlight has cast doubt on the political future of a whole bunch of Republican politicians, who have suggested they might want to run for president someday. And while they – like the rest of the country – can’t be sure what the notoriously fickle former president can do, some of them are trying to stake their claims as leaders in the party.

This requires a good deal on their part. And this week it got a little weird for the two of them.

The first former Vice President was Mike Pence, whose Refusal to interfere in the counting of electoral votes Trump deeply angered on January 6 and helped intensify Deadly attack on the Capitol that day. Pence gave an interview to Fox News’ Sean Hannity this week and at times sounded an awful lot like the man who aspires to be president.

He attacked President Joe Biden for withdrawing US forces from Afghanistan. He also criticized the president’s approach to domestic affairs – for “lecturing the American people about the vaccine mandate” and Pence before Congress promoting a “massive, big government, socialist bill” Will widen the safety net and solve problems like climate. Change.

But when Hannity spoke out on the subject of Pence’s supposedly poor relationship with Trump, the former vice president accused the news media of blowing the January 6 events out of proportion, calling it “in a day” at one point. referred to as alleged. January.”

Former US Vice President Mike Pence (File photo via AP)

“They want to use that day to try and undermine the character and intentions of the 74 million Americans who believe we can be strong and prosperous again and support our administration,” Pence said.

He did not address the fact that several rioters in the Capitol called for him to be hanged during the attack, demanding that he be hanged for not fulfilling Trump’s wishes. And Hannity didn’t bring it up.

Then there was a speech by Nikki Haley, another former Trump administration official, whose relationship with Trump has soured as she declared herself “disgusted” with him after January 6 and predicted that she would be “disgusted of any kind”. will lose political viability.”

But Haley, who served as governor of South Carolina and ambassador to the United Nations, praised Trump in an appearance at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. He criticized Trump’s political opponents for accusing him of being compromised by the Russians, and said Biden’s posture toward Russia was comparatively weak.

Nikki Haley, former US envoy to the United Nations. (file)

Separately, in an interview with The Wall Street Journal this week, she praised Trump’s ability to “elect strong people” and stressed, “I don’t want us to go back to the days before Trump. “

At the moment, it doesn’t seem like an option for Haley or anyone else who wants a bright future in the Republican Party. Trump continued to attack Republicans who broke up with him after January 6 and supported his impeachment, such as Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming.

His first rally since the day of the Capitol riot was outside Cleveland in June. He supported a local Republican who was challenging Representative Anthony Gonzalez in the following year’s primary election. Gonzalez, one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for his role in instigating the riot, announced last month that he was leaving Congress instead of staying to face his Trump-approved challenger. .

 

Polls conducted during the year showed that Trump remains the overwhelming favorite for Republican voters, suggesting that he would be difficult to beat in the primary if he actually ran. Although his popularity declined somewhat shortly after January 6, most Republicans seem to have moved on. A Pew Research Center poll released Wednesday found that two-thirds of Republicans say Trump should remain a prominent national figure, a 10 percentage point increase from January. Forty percent of Republican or Republican-leaning voters want him to run again.

Pew polls also found little tolerance for dissent. When asked whether his party should accept politicians who openly criticize Trump, 63% said no.

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