Former President Donald Trump has been racking up a number of prominent early endorsements as he seeks to consolidate support ahead of what is anticipated to be a highly competitive 2024 presidential primary season.
In South Carolina last weekend, Trump collected endorsements from South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster as well as Senator Lindsey Graham, solidifying the support of two men who were some of his most loyal boosters throughout his presidency. In Alabama, Trump already had the endorsement of Senator Tommy Tuberville, who endorsed him shortly after the 2022 midterms.
And on Tuesday, Politico reported that newly-elected Senator J.D. Vance of Ohio anticipated endorsing Trump in the Republican primary, while Missouri’s Eric Schmitt said Monday he intended to support the former president in the upcoming elections.
Trump also (somewhat predictably) earned the endorsement of Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, who succinctly offered her support with a tweet reading simply “Trump 2024” Wednesday afternoon.
“He’s very popular in Missouri,” Schmitt told Politico. “He’s been somebody that’s gotten the support of Missourians by big margins a couple times. He has my support.”
For Trump, demonstrations of loyalty are likely the best tool he has amid lingering questions about his grip on the Republican Party against the ascent of figures like Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and the candidacies of figures like former United Nations Ambassador and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, who indicated her intention to run for president in a Tuesday article in The Post & Courier.
Writing on Truth Social Wednesday, Trump offered one of his strongest attacks against DeSantis yet amid reports the former president was assembling an opposition file to attack the Florida governor’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has become something of a litmus test for GOP candidates ahead of the 2024 primary season.
In addition to direct criticisms of DeSantis, the former president “re-truthed” critiques of the Floridian as a “globalist” and a “RINO” (“Republican in Name Only”) amid polling figures showing DeSantis as not only competitive in a potential GOP primary matchup but occasionally ahead of Trump.
Trump also criticized DeSantis’ early support of vaccinations for COVID-19, even as the former president has sought credit for the speed in which his administration’s Food and Drug Administration approved the drug for commercial distribution.
“The real Ron is a RINO GLOBALIST, who closed quickly down Florida and even its beaches,” Trump wrote. “Loved the Vaccines and wasted big money on ‘Testing.’ How quickly people forget!”
Meanwhile, Trump has sought to secure the future support of others, offering a series of endorsements for Republican candidates in the hope they’d back him down the line.
While he kept it quiet, Trump and his team reportedly supported Ronna McDaniel in her winning campaign to lead the Republican National Committee, even as many in the grassroots sought California’s Harmeet Dhillon to take her spot.
And on Wednesday, Trump endorsed hardline Indiana Republican Congressman Jim Banks in his bid for U.S. Senate amid talk of a competitive open primary for the seat in 2024.
“Proud to be endorsed by the greatest president in my lifetime, @realdonaldtrump!” Banks tweeted in response to the announcement.
Newsweek reached out to Trump’s team for comment.
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