Trump Advisers Desperate to Find Supporters and GOP Lawmakers to Attend First Big Campaign Rally
Donald Trump is expected to finally leave Mar-a-Lago next week to kick off his 2024 presidential campaign next week, but according to The Washington Post, it may not be up to much because fellow Republican officeholders apparently don’t plan on attending the event which is being held in a key conservative state.
Raw Story reports Trump will be appearing at the State House in Columbia, South Carolina — which happens to be the home of two of the former president’s rivals for the GOP nomination: Sen. Tim Scott and former Governor Nikki Haley.
So as you might expect, this is the reason some key Republicans aren’t keen on attending the event. Their main concern is that this will be seen as an early endorsement among other concerns.
According to the Post, advisors, and people who are close to the former president, including Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) who has been frenetically calling crucial Republicans to round up their support.
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But for many in the GOP, it just sounds like it’s too early for them to decide.
The Post reports:
“The report notes, ‘the appeals have run headlong into a complicated new reality: Many of the state’s lawmakers and political operatives, and even some of his previous supporters, are not ready to pick a presidential candidate, adding “The result foretells a Trump launch event in the early primary state — with an expected endoresment by Sen. Lindsey O. Graham and a reaffirmation of support from Gov. Henry McMaster (R) — that positions the former president as a serious contender but stops short of demonstrating the dominance that he once enjoyed.”
And it looks like there may be a few speed bumps ahead for Trump.
“Nikki Haley is probably our first South Carolinian since we voted for George Washington that has really had a chance of being president of the United States,” said former South Carolina GOP chair Katon Dawson. “And I think the Trump folks are going to run into that history.”
The Post reports there are plenty of GOP officials and powerbrokers in South Carolina who have made it absolutely clear that they will NOT be attending.
“State party chairman Drew McKissick will not be attending the Jan. 28 Trump event, because of the RNC meeting next week in California, and Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.), a close ally of both Trump and Haley, has a prior commitment on Jan. 28 that he may not be able to break to attend the rally, according to their advisers. Hope Walker, executive director of the state party, recently turned down a job offer from the Trump campaign because she has decided to stay in her role for the cycle,” per the Post.
So why are so many GOPers seemingly indifferent to Trump now?
Well, Dave Wilson, president of the South Carolina-based Palmetto Family Council, explained it like this:
“A lot of people recognize the importance of the Trump presidency who are stepping back and are saying,” ‘Is there another standard-bearer for the party and the issues we believe in?’ Someone who can carry us not just four more years, but eight more years and create momentum.”
The Republicans are actively looking toward the future. Are the Democrats doing this? Because if they aren’t they face a potentially unpleasant surprise come 2024.