On Thursday, former President Trump attacked a number of Republicans who might run against him in 2024. He said that his former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley was “too ambitious,” and he said that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin were not grateful for what they had done for him.
Trump talked with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt for 30 minutes. He talked about some of the people who might run against him for the Republican presidential nomination and wouldn’t say if he would support the party’s eventual nominee.
The former president told Hewitt that he believes Haley, DeSantis, Youngkin, and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Is Nikki Haley setting up a “man-trap” for Trump, Pompeo, and other rivals running for office in 2024?
The Memo: Trump tries to turn the page on social media and the campaign trail. Pompeo accuses Schiff of leaking classified information.
“Yeah, I would say that, but I know how life works. And I know how politics works,” Trump said. “And politics is a microcosm, but even more vicious, of life.”
“So you know, I’ve helped all those people. I took Mike out of nothing … I believe he always said he’d never run against the president,” Trump added. “And you know, time goes by and then they want to run, because they’re ambitious people. But you know, they’re polling very poorly.”
In spite of the fact that he just published a memoir and has been traveling to early primary states like Iowa and New Hampshire, Pompeo has not confirmed or denied whether or not he will run for president in 2024.
Trump was equally critical of Haley, who is widely anticipated to declare her candidacy for president on February 15th. Trump claimed that he recently discussed Haley’s future endeavors with her over the phone.
“She said, ‘I’ll never run against my president. He’s a great president. He’s been our greatest president. I’ll never run. I’ll never run,’ ” Trump told Hewitt. “But Nikki suffers from something that’s a very tough thing to suffer from. She’s overly ambitious.”
Youngkin, the governor of Virginia, came under fire from Trump for failing to give him sufficient credit in public for his role in helping Trump win election in 2021. Trump stated that Youngkin privately reached out to him to express his gratitude after Trump hosted a tele-rally in the final days of the campaign, but the former president lamented that Youngkin did not express his gratitude sufficiently in public.
Trump was similarly critical of DeSantis, who is the governor of Florida and is seen as the former president’s chief rival in a potential matchup in the primary election of 2024.
“Ron DeSantis got elected because of me. You remember he had nothing. He was dead. He was leaving the race. He came over and he begged me, begged me for an endorsement,” Trump said, even claiming that DeSantis was crying at the time.
In recent days, the former president has increased the intensity of his attacks on DeSantis. He has accused the governor of rewriting history regarding how he responded to the coronavirus pandemic, and he has referred to DeSantis as a “RINO globalist.”
In a hypothetical primary for the Republican party, the majority of polls have placed Trump and DeSantis comfortably ahead of the other candidates. In some polls, including one that was just released a week ago and polled Republican primary voters in New Hampshire, DeSantis has overtaken Trump and is now in the lead.
But as of right now, Donald Trump is the only contender who has formally entered the race, and the steadfast support of his core constituency ensures that he will have at least some of the vote in any primary, even if other voters split their support among other candidates.
Since launching his candidacy in November, Trump has only held a few of events; however, he made his first appearances outside of Florida this past weekend in New Hampshire and South Carolina, where he gave campaign speeches.
After his son-in-law Jared Kushner played a significant role in both the 2016 and 2020 presidential campaigns, the former president revealed to Hewitt that his children would not be a part of his campaign this time around.
“So the answer is Jared won’t be involved, and I don’t want them,” Trump said. “I want them to go out and have a nice life.”
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