But the reaction to his announcement offered new hints that he might not be as successful as he hopes to be. Yes, a number of elected officials and public figures quickly lined up to support him, a show of strength that is rather unusual for someone making an announcement so early and with no other official candidates in the race. However, a number of former allies and donors took the opportunity to signal their readiness to move on to another.
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Since Trump’s obvious goal was to use his announcement as a measure of his strength, we decided it would be useful to see who was somehow induced to weigh in. For the most part, Trump’s backers come from the cadre of loyalists who have always stood by him. Those who oppose or are outside are often the ones with their own aspirations — plus, unexpectedly, one of Trump’s children.
Here’s the list. Did we miss someone important? Let us know.
Representative Madison Cawthorn (RN.C.) — Posted a video in support of Trump after his announcement.
Representative Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) – Writing for the Daily Caller, Gaetz stated, “Only Trump can be trusted to carry out the ‘America First’ agenda he was pushing in 2016. We will not tolerate any imitation.”
Representative Tony Gonzales (R-Tex.) — He tweeted, “I look forward to President Trump putting the ship right again.”
Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) – Offer her “full and total approval” when she spoke to reporters.
Representative Ronny Jackson (R-Tex.) – Tweeted an energetic endorsement: “I WILL VOTE FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP IN 2024!!!!!!”
MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell – Attended Trump’s announcement, where he – jokingly? — predicted that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) would also support Trump.
Rep.-elect Max Miller (R-Ohio) Miller, a former aide to Trump, was quick to offer his support in a statement.
Representative Troy E. Nehls (R-Tex.) – Was at Mar-a-Lago on Tuesday and offered his “full and total approval.”
House Republican Conference Speaker Elise Stefanik (NY) – “I am proud to support Donald J. Trump for president in 2024,” she said in a statement to Breitbart. “I’m fully behind him to run again.”
Melanie Trump — For some reason, Breitbart News felt this had to be confirmed.
Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) — Quickly offers his support for Trump: “He doesn’t have to learn the ropes. He knows the tricks of the trade.”
Representative Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) After being attacked by Trump in the GOP Senate primaries, Brooks denounced Trump’s 2024 bid, saying other candidates would be “massively superior” to “the loser Donald Trump has proven to be.”
Donor Ken Griffin – Speaking to Politico, Griffin said that “for lots of reasons I think it’s time to move on to the next generation.”
Gov. of Arkansas Asa Hutchinson (R) — Hutchinson expressed opposition to Trump’s announcement. “The message he delivered last night…was the same one that lost the last election cycle and would lose the next one.”
Donor Ronald Lauder — A spokesperson confirmed Lauder’s opposition to CNBC.
Former acting Trump chief of staff Mick Mulvaney – Mulvaney was skeptical in a CNN interview, saying “I think he’s the only Republican who can lose.”
The editors of the National Review – In a harsh editorial (mirroring one from before the 2016 nomination battle), Trump magazine slammed: “It’s too soon to know what the rest of the field will look like, other than it will offer much better alternatives than Trump.”
South Dakota Governor Kristi L. Noem (R) — Told the New York Times that Trump in 2024 didn’t offer “the best chance” for the party. This probably stings more than most; Noem was so supportive of Trump at one point that she presented him with a model of Mount Rushmore with his head attached.
Former Vice President Mike Pence – With characteristic vagueness, Pence told ABC and the Times that “I think we’re going to have better choices.”
Representative Greg Pence (R-Ind.) — Pence remained loyal to his family first and foremost. “I’m going to support my brother,” he said, adding that he would encourage him to run.
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo — Tweeted a dig at Trump, saying the party needed leaders who “didn’t stare in the rearview mirror to claim victimhood.”
Donor Stephen Schwarzman – “America does better when its leaders are rooted in today and tomorrow, not in today and yesterday,” the former Trump donor said in a statement to Axios.
Virginia Lt. Gov. Winsome Earle-Sears (R) – Speaking on Fox Business, Earle-Sears said, “I couldn’t support him. I just couldn’t.”
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (right) – Called Trump a ‘loser’.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) – Asked by reporters if he was willing to support Trump, McCarthy said, “You guys are nuts.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) – “The way I’m going into this presidential primary season is to stay out of it,” he said at a news conference. “I don’t have a dog in that fight.”
Ivanka Trump – Posted on Instagram that “I don’t plan to be involved in politics” in 2024. Her husband, Jared Kushnerwas on hand for the Mar-a-Lago announcement.