Announcements could come any day from Republicans looking to challenge former President Donald Trump for the 2024 presidential nomination and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) offered some words of discouragement after naming names: “I don’t think you could do what he did.”
(Video: Fox News)
The South Carolina lawmaker, who was himself an opponent of Trump’s in the 2016 GOP presidential nominee contest, joined Fox News host Sean Hannity on Monday with little more than glowing words for his fellow Republicans. After former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley were brought up based on interviews they had done on “Hannity,” the host asked pointedly, “So, how will other candidates distinguish themselves against Donald Trump if they agree with his policies?”
“I really don’t know,” Graham replied. “But I do know this. We’re lucky as a party to have Mike Pompeo, who was a terrific secretary of state; Nikki Haley, a strong voice in the U.N. for the American First agenda; my buddy — love [Sen] Tim Scott; we got [former Vice President] Mike Pence, the most decent guy to ever serve in the government, all talking about running for president.”
Other names that were thrown in the mix were former Govs. Chris Christie (NJ) and Larry Hogan (MD) along with America’s Governor Ron DeSantis (FL), but the senator had cold water to splash on the lot, “And to all these people who are very talented, I don’t think you could do what he did. And I want him to have another shot. Unfinished business.”
During the interview, the congressman proceeded to give his reasons for supporting Trump which included accomplishments like border security and foreign policy.
“I’m for Donald Trump because I know what I’m gonna get. We need somebody that on day one can get this country back on track, that can secure our border and bring order out of chaos, somebody the Russians and the Chinese fear, somebody that can take the fight to the terrorists. The Abraham Accords are the result of Donald Trump impressing the Arabs and the Israelis. He is the best solution to the problems we face, not because of the flaws of others, but because what I know he can do,” Graham argued.
Ultimately, he concluded “There are no Trump policies without Donald Trump,” and an example of just how pervasive that is can be seen in the speaker battle that took place to kick off the 118th Congress. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) joined MSNBC’s Ari Melber Monday where the host asked, “What do you think you or the Republican caucus are now achieving under these new rules?”
The debate over rules had been integral in swaying holdouts to support now-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) after 15 rounds of voting and Gaetz said, “These new rules will last long past my time in Congress or Kevin McCarthy’s as speaker, and they democratize the process so that individual members can offer amendments, can target spending for reductions.”
To highlight the scope of the rules, the MAGA congressman noted how single-member “no confidence” votes and actual floor debate to propose amendments for the first time in years had cross-party appeal.
“It was even [New York Democratic Rep.] Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez that went on Alex Wagner’s program during this balloting and said that a lot of the things that we were fighting for as conservative populists were supported by populists on the left because it didn’t concentrate so much power in the hands of the speaker and the leadership,” Gaetz said before adding, “I think that will vindicate the service of all 435 members.”
The Florida lawmaker went on to add, “We’ve got a number of great conservatives now on the Rules Committee and on the Appropriations Committee that wouldn’t have had that opportunity, but for this temporary clash at the beginning of the year, I think we’re a stronger team now going forward.”
Looking ahead to likely Republican presidential primary debates, it remains to be seen whether the outcome of a “temporary clash” will prove as fruitful, but Graham made certain to Hannity, “We need to get ready for a real spirited contest.”
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