The midterms are over, and McCarthy is voted as House Speaker with unity among Republicans, and now the 2024 presidential election looms. Republicans have an overload of powerhouse candidates for the Republican nomination for president, and now alliances are being forged. Former President Donald Trump, who made his intentions to run clear in November, is faced with other Republicans who may or may not decide to throw their hat in the ring. Some of those same Republicans are possible running mates for Trump.
Trump’s campaign launch will put him in close proximity with at least two other possible candidates, the Washington Post reports, as well as call out supporters on their preferences in regard to who will get the votes. Trump recently announced that he will be launching his presidential campaign staff in South Carolina, a key early primary state, on Tuesday with a special event in Columbia. Among those tipped to appear at the event are the state’s Republican Governor Henry McMaster, who has already spoken out in support of Trump’s 2024 bid, and Senator Lindsey Graham, who is expected to endorse him soon, according to the Post.
Graham’s support is expected to be significant for Trump in South Carolina, where two Republican lawmakers, Senator Tim Scott and former Governor Nikki Haley, are considering 2024 runs against him. “Nikki Haley is probably our first South Carolinian since we voted for George Washington that has really had a chance of being president of the United States,” former South Carolina GOP chair Katon Dawson told the Post. “And I think the Trump folks are going to run into that history.”
Now Trump has received a warning about his leadership team from his one-time adviser Steve Bannon.
The addition Senator Graham to the event appears to have raised alarms with Trump’s former adviser, as Bannon took to his War Room program on the conservative news network, Real America’s Voice, to denounce the Senator as a “snake” and to urge the former president against having him around, Newsweek reports.
“I have no earthly idea why [Graham’s] around [former] President Trump,” Bannon said. “He’s a cancer. He is a cancer, that’s metastasizing. President Trump’s gotta be warned. There’s nothing good that comes from having [Senate Minority Leader] Mitch McConnell’s mini-me, the snake, Lindsey Graham around you at all.”
Bannon denounces Trump adding Lindsey Graham to his leadership team and doing a SC rally with him this week: “I have no earthly idea why he’s around Trump. He’s a cancer. Trump’s gotta be warned. There’s nothing good with having McConnell’s mini-me, the snake, around you at all.” pic.twitter.com/SFUUKwHOsn
— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) January 22, 2023
This latest attack is far from the first time that Bannon has gone after Graham for alleged failure to sufficiently support Trump. In January of last year, Bannon accused Graham of being among the group of five Republicans who had secretly agreed to support parts of President Joe Biden’s political agenda, while not speaking out in fear of losing voter support.
“The five traitors—and this is Republicans and this is the scumbags and slime balls you have here in the nation’s capital… they agree with what [Biden] is doing and they would actually vote and support him but they are afraid of, wait for it, the War Room posse,” Bannon said during another War Room broadcast. “They’re afraid they will get primaried… And they’d be off the money train, they’d be away from the trough. The hog would be away from the trough.
“We need those five senators to have enough guts to step up, we’re going to find out who you are. Have enough guts to step up and tell us, Lindsey Graham, who you are. You five, we need you guys to step up to the plate, Lindsey Graham, and tell us who you are.”
Newsweek reached out to Trump and Graham’s offices for comment.
The kick-off for Trump’s campaign in South Carolina will be one to watch. As Graham and McMaster have both already stated support for Trump, other Republicans in South Carolina have not come out in support of other candidates, but are hedging. The Jan 28 event will certainly clarify some of the ambiguous situations in regard to candidate choice in South Carolina.
An RNC meeting next week in California will keep SC State Republican Party Chairman Drew McKissick from attending the event, and Rep. Ralph Norman, who is a close ally of Trump has a prior commitment that he may not be able to break in order to attend the rally, the Post reports.
Although former secretary of state Mike Pompano and former vice president Mike Pence have been campaigning in SC already, concern is from within the state. Senator Scott is reportedly considering a run, and former SC Governor Nikki Haley, who served as ambassador to the United Nations under Trump, told Fox News that she was seriously considering a presidential bid saying, ” I’ve never lost a race.” Haley has a built in donor infrastructure to make that happen.
Trump’s last large event in South Carolina in Florence attracted thousands of supporters and big Republican names attended. trump has choses a much smaller venue this time, inside the State House in Columbia, which is expected to accommodate about 500 people.
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