Rivals of Trump 2024 court his backers at the grand rally in Las Vegas


LAS VEGAS (UKTN) — Republicans considering a White House candidacy seek anxious donors and activists in Las Vegas this weekend as the GOP class of early 2024 warns former President Donald Trump is “a loser” and cheers on the party for new leadership.

Trump will be one of the few Republican candidates not to attend the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual leadership meeting, which organizers say marks the unofficial start of campaign season for the 2024 presidential primary.

Trump will speak, but only via video conference, while leading rivals, including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former Vice President Mike Pence, will deliver keynote addresses in person.

The rally, which began Friday, comes just days after Trump became the first candidate to formally launch a 2024 campaign. His allies initially hoped his early announcement could ward off serious primary challenges, but that’s unlikely after his loyalists lost midterm matches last week in battlefield states from Arizona to Pennsylvania. His political standing within the GOP, already weakening, plummeted further.

“Maybe there’s a little blood in the water and the sharks are circling,” said Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, himself a Republican presidential nominee who has long been a Trump critic.

Last week’s interim results, Hogan said, have given more Republican leaders the confidence to voice similar concerns. “I don’t think we’ve ever gotten to this point before.”

FILE – In this November 3, 2018 file photo, President Donald Trump stands behind gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis at a rally in Pensacola, Fla. (UKTN Photo / Butch Dill, File)

Attorney General Merrick Garland on Friday appointed special counsel to oversee the Justice Department’s investigation into the presence of classified documents at Trump’s Florida estate, as well as key aspects of a separate investigation related to the uprising. of January 6, 2021 and efforts to reverse the 2020 uprising. election.

Still, there is a lot of praise for the former president.

“There is no question that what President Trump has accomplished during his four years in terms of strengthening the relationship between the US and Israel has been unparalleled. He was the most pro-Israel president ever,” said Matt Brooks, executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition.

But that may not be enough this time to win over the coalition’s top donors, Brooks continued.

“For a lot of people attending this conference, this is about the future,” he said. And for some of them, President Trump might be their answer. For others, they are interested in what others have to say.”

With a sprawling fundraising operation involving small dollar contributions, Trump doesn’t need major donors to reach the GOP nomination for a third time. But the reluctance of big-buck Republicans to commit to him — at least for now — could signal a much broader shift in a party that has been defined almost entirely by its allegiance to Trump for the past six years.

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin, another potential 2024 contender, canceled his appearance following a shooting at the University of Virginia on Sunday that left three dead.

House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, who could become the speaker of the House when the Republicans take over in January, is also on the agenda.

Ahead of his Friday night speech, Pompeo mocked one of Trump’s slogans: “We were told we were going to get tired of winning. But I’m tired of losing.”

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie also supported Trump’s political failures.

“In my eyes, he’s a loser now. He’s an electoral loser,” said Christie, another 2024 prospect who attended the rally in Las Vegas. “If you look at a general electorate, I don’t think there’s a Democrat who he can beat, because he’s now toxic to suburban voters on a personal level, and he’s earned it.”

The annual event takes place at the Venetian Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip and is a nod to Sheldon Adelson, the longtime benefactor of the Republican Jewish Coalition, a billionaire casino magnate who died last year. His wife Miriam Adelson remains a fundraising force within the GOP, though her donation level in the recent midterm elections, which exceeded $20 million, was scaled back somewhat.

76-year-old Israeli-born Miriam Adelson “remains neutral” in the 2024 GOP presidential primaries, according to Andy Abboud, the family’s longtime political gatekeeper.

But that hasn’t stopped ambitious Republicans from courting her.

And while the Adelsons have been prominent Trump supporters in the past, Miriam Adelson is unwilling to commit to him as the next presidential primary season gets underway.

She is not alone among the major donors and party leaders.

Ronald Lauder, the president of the World Jewish Congress and heir to Estee Lauder’s cosmetics fortune, has supported Trump’s past campaigns but has no plans to support him in 2024, according to a Lauder spokesperson. The spokesman did not explain why or whether Lauder prefers another potential candidate.

Stephen A. Schwarzman, a former Trump backer, chairman and CEO of the investment firm Blackstone Group, told UKTN this week that he would support someone from a “new generation” of Republicans. Kenneth C. Griffin, the hedge fund billionaire, already openly supports DeSantis.

In an interview this week, Pence slammed Trump and his loyalists by noting that mid-term Republican candidates who were “focused on the past, especially those who tried to re-litigate the last election, didn’t fare as well.”

More than any other position or policy, Trump has been consumed with lies about his loss in 2020 since leaving office. He supported dozens of candidates in 2022, largely based on whether they embraced his baseless claims. Many of them lost last week.

“I think we’ll have better choices in 2024,” Pence told The UK Time News. “And I have every confidence that Republican primary voters will choose wisely.”

New York UKTN writer Michelle Price contributed.



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