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A crowded GOP race – National – could pave the way to Trump’s return

As Donald Trump considers another White House run, polls show he is the most popular figure in the Republican Party. But it wasn’t always like that.

Trump once faced off against a dozen contenders for the presidential nomination in 2016, winning only about a third of the vote in key early states. He even lost in Iowa, which starts the nomination process.

But he prevailed because those in the party who opposed his brand of divisive politics could never unite around a single rival. The same dynamic could be repeated if Trump considers a new run for the presidency as early as this summer.

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With a growing list of candidates preparing to run, even a Trump dwindled by two impeachments and mounting legal vulnerabilities could hold a dominant position in a fragmented, multi-candidate primary.

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“I’m afraid it could end up just like 2016, where basically everyone thought everyone else should get out,” said Republican strategist Mike DuHaime, who advised former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s campaign that year. “I think every lead candidate realized that he or she had a better chance against Trump in a one-on-one. But of course everyone thought he or she should be the one to get that shot and no one backed out. … And then it was too late.”


Click here to play video:'I'm the fucking President': Former aide testifies that Trump demanded to join US Capitol siege.







‘I’m the damn President’: Former aide testifies Trump demanded to join US Capitol siege


‘I’m the fucking President’: Former aide testifies Trump demanded to join US Capitol siege – June 28, 2022

Concerns mount as a growing list of potential rivals make ever-bolder moves, delivering high-profile speeches, running ads, courting donors and making repeated visits to early-voting states.

That group now includes more than a dozen potential candidates, including Trump’s former Vice President Mike Pence; his former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; and Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Rick Scott of Florida, and Tim Scott of South Carolina. Everyone could bet on the policies of the former president.

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On the anti-Trump trail, politicians like Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan are raising their profile.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is increasingly viewed as Trump’s heir apparent, even by Trump’s most staunch supporters, and his most formidable potential challenger by Trump allies.

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Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and others have said they will not challenge Trump if he continues. But others, including Christie, appear to be firing on the fight, even if they appear to be long shots.

“I’m seriously considering it. I probably won’t make a decision until the end of the year,” Christie said in a recent interview. He has urged the party to break away from Trump and his ongoing obsession with the 2020 election.

“For me it’s about the party having to take a new direction from a personal perspective and continue to have someone who can bring strong leadership, tough leadership that the country needs but not everything else has drama that comes with it “, he said. “I’m hearing the same things from donors that I’m hearing from voters – that they are very concerned that we cannot put ourselves in the position that 2024 is about anything other than the good of the country.”

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Click here to play the video: “Jan. Hearing: Trump tried to grab the wheel to drive to US Capitol on day of attack, says former top aide







Hearing Jan. 6: Trump tried to grab the steering wheel to drive to the US Capitol on the day of the attack, says former top aide


Jan. 6 Hearing: Trump Attempted to Grab the Wheel to Drive to US Capitol on Day of Attack, Former Top Aide Says – June 28, 2022

Pompeo, who has had a busy travel schedule and plans to return to Iowa this summer, said in a recent interview that he spent time reading and listening to President Ronald Reagan’s speeches while preparing for a potential run.

“We’re preparing to stay in the fight,” he said last month while courting evangelical Christians at a gathering in Nashville, Tenn.

He said he and his wife would sit down after the November election and “think, pray, and decide where we can best serve.” It could present us for elected office again. Maybe we’ll choose a different path. But we’re not going to walk away from these things that I’ve been working on now for 30 years. You are too important.”

Pompeo outlined a possible approach in a manner similar to Trump’s.

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“He was a disruptor that was needed most in 2016, there’s no doubt about that,” Pompeo said. “And now the task is to take this set of understandings, this set of principles, defend it and build on it. And it’s going to take a lot of work to do that, leaders with real steadfastness and character to do that.”

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Plan for Mike Pence to reject voters ‘mad’ and ‘mad’: panel on Jan 6

Such candid conversation comes as Trump faces a cascade of escalating legal problems.

The congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot has revealed increasingly damaging information about Trump’s last few weeks in office. The Justice Department has its own investigation. In Georgia, the prosecutor investigating Trump’s potentially illegal interference in the 2020 state election has stepped up her investigation by subpoenaing members of Trump’s inner circle. In New York, Trump, his son of the same name, and daughter Ivanka have agreed to answer questions under oath in the attorney general’s civil investigation into his business practices beginning next week.

Mick Mulvaney, a former South Carolina congressman who served as Trump’s acting chief of staff, said the moves indicated potential candidates could “see an opening where none existed two months ago.”

“Trump fatigue could be a real thing,” he said, and voters wondered if by voting for a different candidate they could “get the same policies without all the baggage.”

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The US Capitol Siege hearings focus on Trump’s pressure campaign to overthrow the 2020 election


US Capitol Siege hearings focus on Trump’s pressure campaign to overturn 2020 election – June 21, 2022

At the same time, Trump has seen some of his recommended lead candidates falter. Those who won, including Senate hopefuls JD Vance in Ohio and Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania, did so with about 30% of the vote, meaning two-thirds of party voters opposed Trump’s pick.

“I don’t think anyone underestimates Trump. There’s a reason he’s the most coveted confirmation in every single Republican primary,” said GOP strategist Alex Conant. “That said, I think there’s a realization that a lot of Republican voters are looking ahead and ready for what’s next.”

To what extent remains open. During a trip to Iowa this week, Cotton declined to comment on Trump’s reputation. But the senator said he hopes to be “an effective national leader, not only for my party but for the American people in my role in the Senate and in any other future role I might have.”

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Still, Cotton argued, candidates should embrace Trump’s legacy.

“I know Donald Trump is very popular with our constituents, who appreciate the accomplishments he has delivered in a very hostile environment for four years. They don’t want Republicans going against that legacy because they see that legacy as a great achievement,” he said Thursday in Cambridge, Iowa.

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Trump is moving forward with his own events.

On Friday night he fought in Las Vegas alongside Adam Laxalt, his Nevada Senate pick. And on Saturday night he planned a rally in Anchorage, Alaska, to campaign with Kelly Tshibaka, whom he supported in her race against Senator Lisa Murkowski, and others, including former Gov. Sarah Palin, who is now running for Congress.

Conant said it made sense for candidates to continue testing the waters for now.

“Many potential candidates are realizing that 2024 could be their last best chance, regardless of what Trump does,” he said. “There’s a very vulnerable Democrat in the White House, Republicans seem likely to win, and unless it’s Trump, they’re basically going to be sidelined for the next 10 years.”


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The former incumbent AG told the January 6 Committee that he had told Trump the DOJ would not seize voting machines


The former incumbent AG told the Jan. 6 committee he had told Trump the DOJ would not seize voting machines — June 23, 2022

Still, Conant, who served as communications director during Florida Senator Marco Rubio’s 2016 presidential bid, noted the similarities.

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“It looks like it’s becoming increasingly clear that there will be a lot of people running for president. And while I think there’s an appetite for something different, the alternative to Trump needs to rally around a candidate,” he said. “That never happened in 2016. And it might not happen in 2024.”

© 2022 The Canadian Press

https://globalnews.ca/news/8978351/donald-trump-2024-presidential-race-republication/ A crowded GOP race – National – could pave the way to Trump’s return

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