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Former Trump Official Jumps Ship, Joins Competitors Campaign

Vivek Ramaswamy speaking with attendees at the 2022 AmericaFest at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona.

A top supporter of former President Trump in the crucial early-voting state of New Hampshire is joining rival Republican candidate Vivek Ramaswamy’s campaign.

According to Fox News, longtime state Rep. Fred Doucette, who served as New Hampshire co-chair of Trump’s 2016 and 2020 presidential campaigns, is joining the Ramaswamy campaign as a senior strategist and co-chair in New Hampshire.

The Granite State holds the first primary and second overall contest in the GOP’s presidential nominating calendar.

Doucette, the current deputy majority leader in the Republican-controlled state House of Representatives, said in a statement that Ramaswamy is a candidate that gives someone to vote for instead of someone to vote against, in a thinly-veiled jab at President Joe Biden.

“Vivek is the person who will deliver the America First agenda, without the drama,” Doucette said in a statement released on Thursday by the Ramaswamy campaign.

Doucette stressed, “I believe that President Trump’s agenda worked” and said his decision not to support the former president as he runs a third straight time for the White House was “terribly hard.”

“I came on board in March of 2015 and we were fired up. We were energized. We were engaged. We were about getting it done,” Doucette recalled. But he described the current Trump campaign as “flat.”

Doucette argued that Trump’s 2024 campaign “is not taking a page and looking forward” and said that impression “played into a lot of my decision-making.” He added that Trump supporters in the key primary and general election battleground state “were disappointed” in some of the decisions made by the Trump campaign.

“Fred gets things done. He has a proven track record of leadership, delivering results and winning,” Ramaswamy said in a statement“We’re taking America First to the next level, and I am confident Fred will be a key asset in our mission in the crucible of New Hampshire politics. We’re ready to roll and revive the American experiment, starting with the Granite state.”

Ramaswamy has hit the ground running since announcing his presidential campaign in February, traveling to New Hampshire and Iowa numerous times.

Fmr. Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson Announces Presidential Bid

Donald Trump via Gage Skidmore Flickr

Former Arkansas Governor — and noted Trump critic — Asa Hutchinson announced his decision Sunday morning to compete to become the next Republican nominee for president.

In contrast to the GOP establishment’s decision to defend former President Donald Trump, Hutchinson called for Trump to drop out of the race following his indictment.

Hutchinson’s announcement came during an interview with ABC’s Johnathan Karl:

As Fox News reports:

Hutchinson is the third Republican to announce a campaign and will face off against former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and former President Donald Trump. Several another figures are expected to enter the race but have yet to do so.

“I have made a decision, and my decision is I’m going to run for president of the United States,” Hutchinson told ABC News. “While the formal announcement will be later in April, in Bentonville, I want to make it clear to you…I am going to be running. And the reason is, I’ve traveled the country for six months, I hear people talk about the leadership of our country. I’m convinced that people want leaders that appeal to the best of America, and not simply appeal to our worst instincts.”

Hutchinson has mulled a potential presidential run for months, receiving support from a new super PAC in February.

He remains a long-shot candidate in what is expected to become a crowded field, however. While his only announced opponents are Haley and Trump, former Vice President Mike Pence is expected to announce his campaign soon.

‘The View’ Host Explains Why She Wants Trump To Win 2024 Nomination

Photo via Gage Skidmore Flickr

On Wednesday, “The View” co-host Joy Behar explained why she hopes former President Donald Trump wins the Republican nomination in 2024- she’s afraid of Ron DeSantis.

After other co-hosts traded off criticizing the Florida Governor, Joy Behar slipped up and said that she believes Democrats can ultimately defeat another Trump campaign.

Cohost Alyssa Farah Griffin said that she believes DeSantis “is the most over-hyped politician in America.”

“I want to see him sit down with a neutral interviewer like George Stephanopoulos and actually answer tough questions,” Griffin said. Stephanopoulos served as White House press secretary for former President Bill Clinton.

“DeSantis is what they call a dweeb,” Behar exclaimed. “And Trump is the one who needs to get the nomination because then the Democrats will win.”

Conservative commentators offered their own opinions on Twitter.

“These 🤡’s debase themselves every day,” commentator Dave Rubin said. “She wants DeSantis to sit down with a ‘neutral journalist like George Stephanopolous’, who was press Secretary for Bill Clinton and happens to work at the same network as her.”

“Also the brain melting way she tries to pretend DeSantis’s victory wasn’t a record setting landslide, and how Joy says the quiet part out loud … they actually want Trump … because DeSantis is the real threat,” he added.

The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh tweeted, “They openly admit that they want Trump because they think he’s easier to beat.”

Chris Christie Suggests He Would ‘Torpedo’ Trump in GOP Primary Battle

Maryland GovPics, CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie suggested to an audience on Monday that he may enter the 2024 presidential race to target former President Donald Trump.

Christie hinted at potentially joining the race while delivering remarks at St. Anselm’s College in New Hampshire.

“You better have somebody on that stage who can do to him what I did to Marco because that’s the only thing that’s gonna defeat Donald Trump,” Christie said in reference to him going hard after Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) during the debates. “And that means you gotta have the skill to do it and that means you have to be fearless because he will come back and right at you.”

Christie said that “it’s not gonna end nicely” and Trump’s “end will not be a calm and quiet conclusion.”

Christie campaigned in New Hampshire more than any other GOP candidate in 2016 but received lackluster results, leading him to suspend his campaign.

“And so, if I run again, I can’t imagine that I would continue to do it the same way,” he added. “But this time if I run, I would just hope that you come to a better conclusion than you did the last time.”

The former president and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis currently sit at the top of the polls for the 2024 Republican nomination.

Christie told Fox News that he wanted to go to New Hampshire to talk to people “who I know are the best-informed voters in the country about things that I think are important in the world and in our country right now — and to see how they react to that, and see that what they think about things that I think are important.”

Trump Taps Former Jeb Bush Campaign Staffer To Lead Effort Key Primary State

Donald Trump via Gage Skidmore Flickr

Former President Donald Trump has revealed a significant new hire to lead his efforts in New Hampshire in 2024.

Trump has hired Jeb Bush’s 2016 field coordinator, Trevor Naglieri, to serve as his campaign’s New Hampshire state coordinator, according to reports from The Daily Wire.

The move by the former president to hire a former Bush campaign hand comes after Trump has repeatedly claimed Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is a part of the Republican Party establishment and sought to tie DeSantis to Bush and former House Speaker Paul Ryan.

The New Hampshire presidential primary, which takes place Feb. 13, 2024, is the nation’s first primary and the second party contest, after the Iowa caucuses. Although New Hampshire is a small state, its primary is seen as a critical chance for candidates to build momentum for their campaigns.

Trump handily won the New Hampshire primary in 2016, he lost the state in the general election in both 2016 and 2020.

Naglieri marks the second high-profile hire for the Trump campaign in New Hampshire. Two months ago, POLITICO first reported that former state GOP Chair Steve Stepanek, a longtime ally, would serve as a senior adviser to the former president in the first-in-the-nation primary state. The two join Alex Latcham, one of Trump’s Iowa hires, who’s overseeing all early state operations.

His opponents have yet to take similar steps on the staffing front however Vivek Ramaswamy is launching a six-figure advertising blitz in Iowa and New Hampshire, marking the first time his campaign has gone on the air since he announced his candidacy last month.

“We’re in the middle of a national identity crisis,” Ramaswamy says in the ad. “Faith, patriotism and hard work have disappeared. Wokeness, gender ideology and the climate cult have taken their place.”

“We spend so much time celebrating our diversity that we forget the values that bind us together,” he adds. “I believe deep in my bones those values still exist.”

Pence to Return to Iowa as 2024 White House Speculation Builds

Mike Pence via Gage Skidmore Flickr

Former vice president Mike Pence appears to be inching toward a 2024 White House announcement.

New reports indicate Pence plans to travel back to Iowa this week, adding to the rumors he’s planning to mount his own White House campaign shortly.

The trip back to Iowa, the state that leads off the Republican Party’s presidential nominating calendar comes after Pence has repeatedly said he’ll decide in the spring whether to launch a 2024 White House run, joining a field of GOP contenders that already includes his one-time running mate – former President Donald Trump. 

Fox News first reported the upcoming trip:

Pence will start his day in the Hawkeye State in Urbandale, just outside of Des Moines, where he’ll give remarks at a breakfast hosted by the Westside Conservative Club. The group usually holds two breakfasts a month but added a third in March for the former vice president’s visit.

Pence will then take part in a fireside chat at a luncheon in Cedar Rapids, which will also include a book signing for his memoir “So Help Me God.” The former vice president will conclude his day in Iowa by delivering remarks in Coralville at the Johnson County Republicans Reagan dinner.

The stop in Iowa will be Pence’s second in a month and his eighth since the end of the Trump administration in January 2021.

While momentum surrounding Pence’s potential campaign seems to be building in an interview earlier this month Pence said Republican voters’ familiarity with his story affords him some breathing room as he makes his 2024 decision

“I think the advantage that we have is I think the American people know the Pences,” the former vice president said. “By and large they know our story and our career, and some are getting to know it better every day. So, we think we have time to be discerning, to be reflective, to listen.”

“I do believe that different times call for different leadership. I think we’ll have better choices come 2024,” Pence said in a Fox News Digital interview earlier this month, when asked about his former running mate. “I’m confident that Republican primary voters are going to choose well, that are going to choose a standard-bearer that will be able to lead us to victory in 2024.”

Report: Former Governor Will Make Final White House Decision in Next 60 Days

Maryland GovPics, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Is the Republican primary field about to gain another contender?

Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) said that he will decide on whether to make another bid for the presidency in the next 45 to 60 days.

“I think running for president of the United States is an intensely personal decision. And that’s one that anybody who’s considering it should have the right to make on their own regardless of anybody else’s thoughts on it,” Christine told the Washington Examiner.

Christie, who ran for the Republican nomination in 2016, told the Examiner that the GOP should have a “robust primary” given the losses the party suffered over the last four years. He noted that former President Trump is “weaker” now than he was leading up to the 2020 election.

“With Donald Trump at the top of the ticket, you can be sure of the fact that we’ll have another four years of Joe Biden, and that to me is not acceptable for this country,” he said.

Christie, who is a regular political commentator on ABC, has previously criticized Trump even after working on his 2016 and 2020 campaigns, saying earlier this month that “he’s not what he used to be.”

Christie is scheduled to speak at an event in New Hampshire later this month, marking the latest Republican to travel to early primary states. Last week, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis traveled to Iowa, sparking fresh 2024 speculation.

Former Trump Official Launches New PAC Supporting Gov. Ron DeSantis

Photo via Gage Skidmore Flickr

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is already seeing a tremendous outpouring of support for a 2024 White House bid and he hasn’t even decided to run yet.

A senior Trump administration official and former Virginia attorney general has launched a new political action committee (PAC) to persuade Gov. DeSantis to throw his hat into the ring. Ken Cuccinelli served as acting deputy Homeland Security secretary under former President Trump during his final year in office.

The ex-Trump official filed Never Back Down PAC with Federal Elections Commission (FCE) in late February according to documents obtained by The Hill.

Cuccinelli launched the campaign to draft DeSantis into the 2024 race on Thursday, saying in a video that “America’s future is Ron DeSantis.”

“Ron DeSantis doesn’t just talk, he acts, but most of all he never backs down,” Cuccinelli says in the video. “Gov. DeSantis, today I’m asking you to run for president. You’ve had our back, now we will have yours.”

Two similar super PACS— titled “Ready for Ron” and “Ron to the Rescue” — which are not affiliated with DeSantis or his political circle are already up and running, raising money as they urge the governor to launch a presidential campaign. But sources in DeSantis’s wider political orbit have described those groups as “a grift – plain and simple” to Fox News.

Super PACs, known as independent expenditure-only committees, are legally allowed to raise unlimited sums of money from corporations, unions, associations and individuals, and to spend unlimited sums to support or oppose political candidates. Unlike traditional PACs, they are prohibited under long-standing federal rules from either coordinating or contributing directly to a candidate or candidate’s campaign. 

DeSantis is widely expected to announce a presidential bid this spring. (RELATED: DeSantis Lays Out Timeline for 2024 Decision)

Last month, the Republican governor told “Fox & Friends” we would make a final decision after Florida’s legislative session wraps up in May and after his book tour.

Trump launched his campaign right after the 2022 midterm elections and has consistently attacked DeSantis ahead of his possible entry into the race.

“I have been speaking to many grassroots conservative activists around the country who are very enthusiastic for Governor DeSantis to run for President in 2024,” Cuccinelli said in a statement. “The energy is there, grassroots conservatives see the Governor as a leader and a fighter with a winning conservative track record who will lead the Republican Party to victory in 2024.”

Cuccinelli is hardly the first Trump-aligned Republican to change allegiances.

Donald Tapia, a prominent businessman from Arizona and Trump’s former ambassador to Jamaica from 2019 to 2021, was a strong financial backer of Trump in 2016 and 2020, contributing hundreds of thousands of dollars to the former president over his two elections but recently announced he plans to support DeSantis for president.

“The name-calling has turned a lot of people off,” Tapia said to Politico. “Let me tell you, we don’t like that.”

However, despite some grumblings among conservatives, Trump has consistently come on on top in various 2024 hypothetical matchups.

Is Doug Mastriano Planning a Senate Run?

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

While Doug Mastriano’s November gubernatorial loss disappointed Republicans retired Army colonel-turned-state senator seems ready to strategize for the future.

A new report from POLITICO reveals Mastriano’s first steps toward a potential Senate run in 2024 and it seems clear he’s not ready to throw in the towel when it comes to pursuing higher office.

“What do you do with a movement of 2.2 million?” he told POLITICO. “We’re keeping it alive.”

“We’ve seen people in the past, other Republican gubernatorial candidates, they rise and they disappear when they lose. Why?” he asked. “You have people that love you and support you.”

Mastriano affirmed he is “praying” about whether to go forward with a potential Senate run in 2024. After God, his wife, Rebbie, will have the final word he said.

However, if Mastriano does decide to mount a Senate campaign the Republican would run in a primary for the right to take on Democrat Sen. Bob Casey. Which is likely to be a considerable challenge due in part to Sen. Casey’s familial history in the Keystone State.

POLITICO noted that “no one in the Pennsylvania GOP establishment is eager for that matchup. “

Casey’s father, former Gov. Robert Casey Sr., signed abortion regulations into law that went all the way to a landmark Supreme Court case, where they were largely kept intact. Mastriano even noted that Casey Sr. was “more pro-life than most Republicans” before insisting Sen. Casey is incapable of living up to his father’s legacy.

“I think he’s a huge disappointment. He’s nothing like his dad,” he said.

Still, all signs point to the fact Mastriano is taking steps to position himself for a possible run. He’s planning an upcoming rally in central Pennsylvania, which will feature Trump lawyer Christina Bobb and conservative media personality Wendy Bell as speakers. Mastriano also led a hearing on the East Palestine train derailment over the border from the incident in western Pennsylvania, and he successfully pushed a committee he chairs to subpoena Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw to testify.

He also hired Dan Cox, the unsuccessful Maryland gubernatorial nominee, as his chief-of-staff which has fueled speculation he might want to run for higher office again. He seemed to confirm the link during the interview.

“Hmm,” he said, laughing. “Gute erkennung. As the Germans say, ‘Good deduction.’”

Larry Hogan Shuts Down 2024 White House Speculation

Maryland GovPics, CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Former Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (R) has officially decided against launching a presidential campaign.

Hogan, who has been a staunch critic of Donald Trump, told CBS News that while he gave “serious consideration” to pursuing the Republican nomination he ultimately felt he did not need to run for another office.

“I did give it serious consideration and I talked to people everywhere and I talked to my family,” Hogan told CBS News. “And it was a tough decision. But I’ve decided that I will not be a candidate for the Republican nomination for president.”

The two-term Maryland governor said it was not the idea of running against Trump that deterred him from launching a campaign but noted it would have been an uphill battle. Trump has dominated amongst 2024 prospective polls and handily won the Conservative Political Action Conference’s (CPAC) straw poll.

Trump won with 62 percent, while Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), likely his closest rival, came in at 20 percent. Businessman Perry Johnson, who announced his candidacy for the White House this week, earned 5 percent.

Trump won last year’s straw poll at CPAC in Orlando, Fla., with 59 percent support. DeSantis scored 28 percent in that straw poll.

“That didn’t really scare me,” Hogan said. “You’re right. It would be a tough race. And he’s very tough. But, you know, I beat life-threatening cancer. So having Trump call me names on Twitter didn’t really scare me off.”

Hogan asserted he was not running to give other candidates who are polling in the “single digits” a chance to challenge front-runners such as Trump and DeSantis.

“I didn’t want to have a pile up of a bunch of people fighting,” Hogan said. “Right now, you have Trump and DeSantis at the top of the field, they’re soaking up all the oxygen, getting all the attention. And then a whole lot of the rest of us in single digits and the more of them you have, the less chance you have for somebody rising up.”

“I didn’t need that job,” Hogan said. “I didn’t need to run for another office. It was really, I was considering it because I thought it was public service and maybe I can make a difference.”