Former President Donald Trump just won the support of Steve Daines of Montana, the chair of the Senate’s Republican fundraising committee, earning him the Republican senator’s most well-known endorsement.
As the chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Daines declared, “I’m proud to endorse Donald J. Trump for president of the United States,” on a podcast hosted by Trump Jr., the candidate’s eldest son.
This is the first time a Republican in the Senate leadership has endorsed Trump, and it may encourage more senators to do the same.
The former president has a tense relationship with GOP leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, but several other senators, including Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, and JD Vance, have already endorsed his bid for the presidency in 2024.
Daines’ job as NRSC chair is to assist his party reclaiming the chamber. After the Republicans’ poor showing in the 2018 midterm elections, when Florida’s Rick Scott, the NRSC chair at the time, insisted on remaining impartial in the nomination process and several far-right candidates won their primaries but lost in the general election, he made it clear he intends to make some changes.
Daines’ new strategy would entail participating in party primaries in crucial states and donating resources to chosen candidates to generate nominees who are more appealing to general election voters.
Trump has been gathering up endorsements as the GOP field widens to demonstrate the depth of his support within the party.
More than half have already decided to support him.
Asa Hutchinson, a former governor of Arkansas, will join Donald Trump and former U.N. Vivek Ramaswamy, a biotech entrepreneur; Perry Johnson, a businessman; and Larry Elder, a radio presenter. Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, former Vice President Mike Pence, and South Carolina Senator Tim Scott have all stated that they will determine whether to run for office in the upcoming weeks.
With Democratic President Joe Biden publicly announcing he will be running for a second term on Tuesday, a potential general election matchup started taking shape, even if the primary season is still months away. In his video announcement, he requested additional time from the electorate to “finish this job.”
While criticizing the Democratic incumbent for announcing his reelection campaign in a video rather than at a live event, Trump said that Biden’s bid “seems hard to believe” during a Monday night appearance on Newsmax.
“Normally, when you stand up, you announce, ‘Hey, I’m running. He’s making a tape, though, so wish me luck, everyone,” Trump remarked. You can repeat it four or five times to ensure accuracy.