Senators Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) were asked whether the GOP should rally behind Trump if he runs in 2024 and, if he does decide to run, whether GOP members would primary him.
Hawley spoke at the National Conservatism conference in Aventura, Florida, earlier this week. He was asked whether the GOP should rally behind Trump or if he should face a primary, similar to 2016. Hawley said that would be “up to voters.”
“I have to tell you, I think he’ll be the nominee. I think he will run. I’d be shocked if he didn’t run. And I think he’ll be the nominee. I don’t think they’ll be much of a primary contest. I could be wrong about that, and I think this is a decision for GOP voters to make, but I’d just be shocked at this point if he weren’t the nominee.”
When asked if he would back Trump, Hawley responded: “Oh, I’d imagine so. I can’t imagine I wouldn’t.”
However, not every GOP member agrees with Hawley. Marco Rubio said Trump will compete in the GOP primary if he decides to run in 2024.
Rubio was asked if he would support Trump in a hypothetical GOP primary:
“I’m not going to begin to speculate about races that don’t exist. I mean, I just don’t answer hypotheticals anymore because the world changes too much, it’s too dynamic out there. And you know, we’ll deal with 2024, we’re not even done with 22 yet.”
Rubio suggested that Trump should not be afraid of competing against other Republicans in a primary.
“I think his view of it should be what mine is and that is none of us own these positions. We have to go out every six years in the Senate, every four years if you’re president, and win the support of people and earn it. So I think that’s true in the Republican primary.”
“I don’t know why – I’ve never been scared of primaries and what they maybe produce. I trust the judgment and the common-sense wisdom of people a lot more than I do the common-sense wisdom and judgment of the commentator class and the political insider class.”
Rubio also spoke at the National Conservatism conference. He said he doesn’t know if there will even be a GOP primary because he is unsure if other Republicans will enter the race against Trump. But he did add that they’re “certainly entitled to run if they want to” and “prove me wrong on the outcome.”
Per Fox News:
In a hypothetical primary without Trump, DeSantis topped the straw poll with 65%. Placing second was Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., with 8% backing, followed by Cruz with 6% and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo with 5%. No one else topped 2% on the second ballot question.
Candidates will begin to announce their runs after the midterm elections, but some people who have gone to the early voting states include Nikki Haley, Tom Cotton, Ted Cruz, and Mike Pence.