'Three strikes and you're out': Republican 2024 hopefuls demand party sever ties with Donald Trump
Several prominent Republicans who have their eyes on the presidency spoke at the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas on Saturday
As reported by Fox News, former United Nations Ambassador and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley all but declared a 2024 run.
"A lot people have asked if I'm going to run for president now that the midterms are over. I'll look at it in a serious way and I'll have more to say soon," Haley said. "If my family and I decide to continue our life of service, we will put 1,000% into it and we'll finish it. For now, I'll say this. I've won a tough primaries and tough general elections. I've been the underdog every single time."
Haley noted that "when people underestimate me, it's always fun. But I've never lost an election. And I'm not going to start now."
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis credited Jewish voters for what he called a "gravity-defying" November 8th reelection over Democratic challenger Charlie Crist.
"Thanks to your support, the state of Florida delivered a true Republican landslide," he said. "We added four new Republican congressmen to the US House of Representatives from the state of Florida. We secured supermajorities in the Florida legislature, the most Republicans we have ever had in Florida history."
DeSantis added that "because of the support of so many of you to our campaign, we delivered the greatest gubernatorial victory in the history of the state of Florida. We dominated with independent voters. We won by double digits. Miami Dade County, We won for the first time in almost 40 years. Palm Beach County. And we don't know precisely what the final number is, but We can say that we won the highest share of the Jewish vote for any Republican candidate in Florida history."
Former President Donald Trump also spoke virtually at the event, where he touted his administration's record on Israel and complained about American Jews having diverse opinions about its controversial policies toward Palestinians.
"Some people in the United States, Jewish people, don't appreciate Israel the way they should," Trump said. "And I'll tell you who does appreciate Israel very much are the evangelicals, because they evangelicals are on your side."
Yet DeSantis and Haley were not the only potential White House hopefuls that pinned the GOP's woes on Trump, per CNN.
Two-term New Jersey Governor Christie lamented that Republicans "keep losing and losing and losing and that "the reason we’re losing is because Donald Trump has put himself before everybody else.”
Christie said that Trump's refusal to move on from his 202 defeat is “not what this party stands for" and that "it’s not what it should stand for in the future, and we’ve got to stop it now.”
New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu said that “candidate quality matters. I got a great policy for the Republican Party: Let’s stop supporting crazy, unelectable candidates in our primaries and start getting behind winners that can close the deal in November.”
Senator Rick Scott (R-Florida), the head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee who mounted a failed challenge to replace Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) as head of their caucus, complained that “the current strategy of most Republicans in Washington is to only be against the crazy Democrats – and they’re crazy – and never outline any plan what we are for and what we will do. That is a mistake."
Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) – a top Trump rival in the battle for the 2016 nomination – charged that Republicans spend far too much time preaching to the choir; talking to the same 2.6 million people watching Fox News every night." Cruz also claimed that
“Republicans in the Senate don’t fight," and encouraged his Senate colleagues to “pick two or three or four things that matter and say, ‘We believe in it.’”
Outgoing Larry Hogan Maryland Governor Larry Hogan's critique of Trump's hold on the GOP was even harsher. The party is “desperately in need of a course correction," he said, arguing that Trump's overselling of bad candidates has caused significant damage.
“Trump was saying that we’d be winning so much we get tired of winning. Well, I’m sick and tired of our party losing. And after this election last week, I’m even more sick and tired than I was before,” Hogan said. “Look, this is the third election in a row that we lost and should have won. I say three strikes and you’re out. If you repeatedly lose to a really bad team, it’s time for new leadership."
Meanwhile, Republican Jewish Coalition Executive Director Matt Brooks believes that either DeSantis or Haley will ultimately prevail over Trump in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.
"I don't usually make political predictions, but I want to make one tonight. And this prediction you can take to the bank," he said. "Yesterday and today you saw the next president of the United States, one of the people who spoke to us today will be in the White House in 2024."
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