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Potential '24 GOP Contenders NOT Named Trump

By C J Waldron

If Donald Trump decides not to run in 2024, there are many willing to throw their proverbial hat into the ring.

After all, there are many reasons Trump won’t be on the ticket in 2024. He could be under indictment or awaiting sentencing for a myriad of reasons (Oh please, oh please!). He could be disqualified for supporting an insurrection under the provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment (Interesting …). He could decide he doesn’t want the attention anymore, and has chosen to avoid the limelight of a third presidential run (Okay, you can stop laughing now). (That is hilarious, Chris...the Editor).

Whatever the reason, there are plenty of Republicans waiting in the wings should Trump decide to take a pass.

Here are some possible contenders:

Ron DeSantis (R-FL)

Florida Governor DeSantis is certainly making a name for himself on a number of hot-button issues. And if it isn’t an issue, he will create one. Once squarely in Donald Trump’s corner, he has since taken a different stance, especially in regard to COVID restrictions. It was something that even Trump supporters greeted him with a chorus of boos when Trump mentioned getting vaccinated.

While DeSantis is in agreement with Trump on most issues, it is his anti-vax stance that he apparently hopes will win hm voters even if Trump decides to remain in the race. It’s a risky move since most Republicans say they will support him, while being terrified of what he might do should he regain the Oval Office.

DeSantis has been consistent in his opposition to COVID Safety Protocols. At the height of the pandemic, he relaxed COVID restrictions during Spring Break. Thousands of college students flocked to the beaches and returned to their home states where they likely spread the virus. Lack of contact tracing means the extent of these careless actions may never be known.

DeSantis has mocked mask mandates and even threatened school districts and businesses that sought to impose them. He even went as far as to recommend a surgeon general who has openly opposed COVID restrictions.

In an effort to attract White supremacists, he is supporting legislation that would effectively outlaw discussion of racism. His proposed law would make it illegal for schools to engage in lessons that would make someone “uncomfortable”. This includes lessons on slavery, the Civil Rights Movement, the Trail of Tears, Japanese Internment and the Holocaust. It’s a transparent nod to those who oppose Critical Race Theory .

If he were to win the nomination, he would be a powerful opponent. However, he would need to defend his actions to the entire nation, and not just Floridians.

Mike Pence

Being Vice President is no guarantee that you will step into the next “job opening” at the White House. Just ask Dan Quayle or Al Gore. Of all the candidates not named Trump, former Vice President Mike Pence held the best chance of getting the Republican nomination, according to recent polling. Of course this polling came before his speech in front of the Federalist Society, in which he committed the ultimate act of political blasphemy. He said “ Trump is wrong” when he declared that Pence could overturn the election results.


He tempered his comments by saying he didn’t want such power in the hands of one person, especially when it meant that current Vice President Kamala Harris would be the one empowered in 2024. That did little to soften the inevitable vitriol that was sure to come from Trump and his supporters. Trump declared “I was right and everybody knows it” while Steve Bannon announced Pence’s act as one of political suicide saying that Pence would carry this refusal “to your grave”.

Pence is the darling of the religious right. He opposes abortion, same-sex marriage and the discarded military policy of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” when it came to gays serving in the military. These are key issues that concern Evangelicals, even as they praised Trump as “The Chosen One” and continue to be among the strongest supporters of The Big Lie.

Despite this, it’s likely his refusal to go along with the seditious plan to overturn the election results, along with his assertion that “Trump is wrong”, have written his political epitaph. He might enjoy a resurgence if cooler heads were to prevail. Nixon won after his narrow loss to JFK. Who’s to say the same isn’t in Pence’s future?

Kristi Noem

Once the darling of the right due to her stance on the Second Amendment, opposition to a woman’s right to choose and of course, vaccine mandates, Noem was once seen as “a beacon of hope” by right wing media while CNN dubbed her “the female Donald Trump”.

When she wasn’t auctioning off “meet and greet” hunting trips, the South Dakota governor was pushing for Trump’s image to join other famous faces on Mount Rushmore. She even went as far as to gift Trump with a sculpture featuring that very thing.

There has even been speculation that, should Trump decide to run in 2024, Noem would replace Mike Pence in the vice presidential slot on the ticket.

These political ambitions took a hit recently, when it was revealed that she used her position to get her daughter special consideration in obtaining her real estate license. She defended her actions with a page straight out of the Trump playbook by claiming she had documents that would 100 percent prove she did nothing wrong in exerting her influence over those issuing the license.

When pressed, Noem stated that she has no desire to be president in 2024. That doesn’t negate a possible future run. Time will tell.

Ted Cruz

When you consider the qualifications someone needs to be president, it’s necessary to consider the pros and cons of each candidate. Take Texas Senator Ted Cruz, for example. On the plus side, he’s Harvard educated and once served as a law clerk for Justice William Rehnquist.

On the negative side, well… he’s Ted Freakin’ Cruz!

Cruz has the reputation for being the least likable person in Congress. That’s saying something when you consider the cast of deplorables who have spouted such vile rhetoric in recent years. Despite this, Ted still holds the crown.

That’s not stopping him from holding presidential ambitions. He ran a losing campaign in 2016 and spearheaded efforts to overturn the 2020 election results by protesting the voting process in Pennsylvania.

This is just one of the many outlandish acts in the Book of Cruz. He notoriously fled his home state of Texas during an unprecedented cold snap where hundreds died, for an I’ll-advised trip to Cancun. Then, he tried to deflect blame onto his teen-aged daughters.

During the 2016 presidential race, he called candidate Donald Trump “a serial philanderer” and “a pathological liar”. Trump retaliated by insulting Cruz’s wife and insinuating that his father had some involvement in the JFK assassination.

Despite this bickering, Cruz became one of Trump’s most loyal supporters once he was inaugurated. And now he’s depending on this support to have Trump’s backing in 2024, while hoping his fans have collective amnesia about his multiple misdeeds.

While he can certainly count on that in Texas, it’s highly unlikely the rest of the nation will forget as easily.

Bye, Ted.

Nikki Hayley

The former South Carolina governor and Trump’s United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley was on if his few subordinates who never held back when they disagreed. Even so, when she resigned, Trump called her “special to me” and even hinted that she may return to the administration “in some other capacity”.

She never did, but unlike others who spoke out against him, she was never the target of his wrath either. So, it was surprising when she openly criticized his decision to dispute the election results, commenting “We shouldn’t have followed him” and received zero blowback.

Haley has formed a Political Action Committee with the aim of boosting Republican candidates in the 2022 midterm elections. Many see this as a precursor to a potential run for the White House.

While she has openly declared that she would not run in 2024 if Trump does, that doesn’t mean she won’t be in contention in the future. It also keeps the door open to her being number two on a 2024 ticket.

Mike Pompeo

Like Haley, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has formed a committee to aid Republicans in the midterms. He has also visited Iowa, site of the first contest in 2024, the Iowa Caucus. Which is also a sign he is considering a 2024 run.

When asked about a possible 2024 bid for the White House, he told Fox host Sean Hannity that he’s “always up for a good fight”, further fueling speculation that even if Trump remains in the race, he would be willing to challenge him.

Pompeo has made no secret of his presidential ambitions. In fact, he took on the role of Secretary of State to increase his public profile. The only problem is, if you associate yourself with the Trump administration, you can’t avoid being sullied by the multiple scandals surrounding it.

Perhaps that is why, according to ABC correspondent Jonathan Karl, he and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin quietly circulated a memo asking if they had support from the rest of the cabinet to have Trump removed from office via the 25th Amendment on the night of January 6th.

So, Pompeo is walking a political tightrope as he navigates the treacherous waters in trying to decide if he will indeed run in 2024.

Stay tuned.

Chris Christie

The “he loves me, he loves me not” relationship between former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Trump is the stuff of high theater or teen drama; take your pick. As of late, their relationship is on the skids as Christie took to the airwaves to blame Trump for inciting the January 6th insurrection and belittle him for his response to Mike Pence’s speech.

Yet, in his new book, Christie explains at length that he is loyal to Trump and tries to excuse his actions as those of any other human being while alternately blaming him for Christie’s getting COVID.

So, to say “it’s complicated” would be a gross understatement.

As he eyes a 2024 run, he, too, is walking a political tightrope as he both paints a vision of a post-Trump Republican Party while also trying to court his supporters .

Good luck with that!

Majorie Taylor Greene

Yes, it has actually been suggested that this QAnon kook make a presidential bid. She was prodded by none other than InfoWars founder, and man attempting to become the new Rush Limbaugh, Alex Jones. The idea is both laughable and downright terrifying.

At the moment, she has a less than zero chance, but that’s what they thought about Donald Trump in 2016, so be afraid. Be VERY afraid.

And The Rest

There are others considering a possible run for the White House. Some will abandon their bids the moment Trump announces his candidacy, while others will remain in the race as long as the money is there.

For Trump, it’s all about two things: Avenging his 2020 loss while getting revenge on those who tried to hold him accountable and avoiding prosecution for any of a number of crimes for which he is currently under investigation.

So, it’s highly likely those who want to oppose him are just dreaming. Republican leaders already have openly stated the nomination is his for the taking, regardless of the horrors he’s

committed, or will likely commit if he somehow regains the White House.

Which is why the midterms are so vitally important. Keeping control of at least one of the branches of Congress means there can still be some accountability.

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You wrote "Keeping control of at least one of the branches of Congress means there can still be some accountability." and I add:also some sanity!

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