Potential GOP 2024 presidential field described as ‘an embarrassment of riches’

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Five months from the start of the race for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, a veteran party strategist and social-conservative leader says the potential field of GOP contenders could end up being the strongest in modern times.

“I’m excited for people who might come forward…certainly in terms of available benches, I think it’s hard not to say this is the strongest potential field in the modern history of the Republican Party,” he said. said Ralph Reed, president of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, told Fox News.

Reed, a well-known and veteran political consultant who led the Christian Coalition in the 1990s, was interviewed a few days ago, on the eve of his group’s annual “Road to the Majority” conference, which took place held this year in Nashville, Tennessee. .

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The Faith and Freedom Coalition — a public advocacy group founded more than a decade ago by Reed — champions conservative social positions, and its annual conference attracts thousands of Republican and conservative evangelical leaders, strategists, activists and voters.

And this year it attracted a handful of top Republicans who are considered potential 2024 contenders. Among them were former President Donald Trump; former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, who served as an ambassador to the United Nations during the Trump administration; former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a former Kansas congressman who served as CIA director and top US diplomat under Trump; Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, another rising GOP star, and Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, a former two-term governor and current chairman of the Republican National Senate Committee.

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Looking at the potential GOP 2024 field – which also includes former Vice President Mike Pence, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas and many others who are allies in the church and family movement – ​​Reed said: “It’s an embarrassment of riches and we are honored, humbled and delighted to have so many of them at this conference.”

Trump ridicules Pence at Faith and Freedom conference

Trump pilloried his former vice president during his high-profile Friday night speech at the Faith and Freedom conference, as he attacked Pence for failing to overturn the 2020 election results as Congress certified victory for the Current President Biden’s Electoral College amid a deadly attack on the United States. Capitol by right-wing extremists aiming to disrupt proceedings.

Trump had repeatedly urged Pence to abandon his constitutional duties and refuse to certify an election that the former president to this day accuses – without providing concrete evidence – of being riddled with “massive voter fraud”, “rigged”. and “stolen”.

Former President Donald Trump delivers the keynote address at the Faith &  Freedom Coalition at their annual conference "Road to Majority Policy Conference" at the Gaylord Opryland Resort &  Convention Center on June 17, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Seth Herald/Getty Images)
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Former President Donald Trump delivers the keynote address at the Faith & Freedom Coalition at their annual “Road To Majority Policy Conference” at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center on June 17, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Seth Herald/Getty Images)
(Photo by Seth Herald/Getty Images)

“Mike Pence had a chance to be great. He had a chance to be historic,” Trump said the day after the House Select Committee investigating the Capitol attack brought to light the intense pressure verbal and physical exerted on the then president and some of his allies who stormed the Capitol put on Pence to nullify the results. “Mike didn’t have the courage to act…Mike was afraid of everything he was afraid of.”

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And Trump made his comments in front of a sea of ​​social conservatives, who for years had considered Pence one of their greatest champions.

Pence was invited but missed the conference for the first time in years, with the official reason being a scheduling conflict. Pence was in Ohio on Friday for events with GOP Governor Mike DeWine. Last year, while speaking at the confab, some in the audience booed Pence and called him a “traitor,” which instantly made national headlines.

Former Vice President Mike Pence speaks at a Republican Women's Federation of New Hampshire luncheon, May 26, 2022 in Bedford, NH

Former Vice President Mike Pence speaks at a Republican Women’s Federation of New Hampshire luncheon, May 26, 2022 in Bedford, NH
(Fox News)

Reed, who is close to both Pence and Trump, told reporters after the former president’s speech that “if Mike Pence wanted to come in and wanted to give these people a cue, he could have done it. I don’t don’t say he should have I told him when I saw him a few weeks ago, no harm, no fault, but I said I want you here next year and he will be there.

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Cotton holds 2024 meeting

Two sources in Sen. Tom Cotton’s political orbit confirm to Fox News that the Arkansas Republican and Iraq War veteran met with top donors and advisers Tuesday morning at the Hay Adams Hotel in downtown. city ​​of washington dc

The sources shared that Cotton said he would not defer to any other potential candidate – including former President Trump – when it comes to his own decision to launch a national campaign. And Cotton said the decision to run for president would come after November’s midterm elections.

News of the rally was first reported by Politico.

Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas sits down for an interview with Fox News at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics in Goffstown, NH on December 3, 2021

Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas sits down for an interview with Fox News at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics in Goffstown, NH on December 3, 2021
(FoxNews)

Cotton, who faced nominal opposition as he easily won re-election in 2020 in heavily red Arkansas, crisscrossed the country last year and this year, helping fellow Republicans run in the midterms. – November mandate. And he made several stops in Iowa and New Hampshire, the first two states to vote on the GOP presidential nomination calendar.

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But the senator publicly opposes it when asked about 2024.

“I’m not making any decisions right now about the future. The election staring right into our windshield is the 2022 election,” Cotton told Fox News in December during a stop in the New Hampshire.

Pritzker’s trip to New Hampshire sparks speculation

Governor JB Pritzker of Illinois was one of the guest speakers Saturday at the New Hampshire Democratic Party State Convention.

And Pritzker’s trip to the state that for a century hosted the first primary in the race for the White House has sparked speculation that the first governor, billionaire businessman, philanthropist and member of the owning family of the Hyatt hotel chain could have a future. national ambitions.

“The truth is, I’m going to help other Democratic governors get elected,” Pritzker told reporters last week in Chicago, ahead of his trip. “I can’t tell you anything other than I love the job I have and that’s why I’m running for re-election as Governor of this state, and I intend to do a good job for the people of our state for the next four years.”

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Pritzker’s 2022 re-election campaign indicates the governor has been focused on helping elect and re-elect Democrats across the country this year.

They also note that while in New England over the weekend, Pritzker was also visiting Massachusetts to support state Attorney General Maura Healey, the frontrunner for this year’s Democratic gubernatorial nomination. year, and will also stop in Maine, to support the Democratic governor. Janet Mills, who is running for re-election.

Fox News Thomas Phippen contributed to this report

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