A number of former President Donald Trump’s most likely presidential challengers are slated to speak this weekend at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s (RJC) annual leadership conference in what some are calling a 2024 “kosher cattle call.”
For the uninitiated, a cattle call is defined by Merriam-Webster as “a mass audition.” In this case, the conference is therefore a mass audition for the presidency.
“The event is the first post-midterms opportunity for prospective presidential candidates to present themselves as alternatives to Donald Trump,” as the Jewish newspaper Haaretz puts it.
— Larry Hogan (@LarryHogan) November 18, 2022
Auditioning at this year’s conference will be Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, and Sens. Ted Cruz, Rick Scott, and Tim Scott, to name a few.
Another potential rival, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, was initially scheduled to speak at the event but bowed out after a triple homicide at the University of Virginia.
“This weekend’s Republican Jewish Coalition Annual Leadership Meeting, affectionately dubbed the ‘kosher cattle call,’ is going to be the biggest and best political event of the year, where we will once again be welcoming key GOP leaders to Las Vegas,” RJC national political director Sam Markstein told Fox News.
“RJC will be celebrating Republicans flipping the U.S. House of Representatives and firing Nancy Pelosi, expanding the number of Jewish Republican Members in Congress, as well as the GOP garnering the largest share of the national Jewish vote in a generation in the midterm elections — including a record-smashing level of support in key states like Florida,” he added.
As for Trump, he initially declined to appear at the event because of a scheduling conflict, RJC executive director Matthew Brooks told CNN.
On Friday, however, RJC broke the news that Trump had changed his mind and would indeed be speaking “at” the event, albeit via satellite video:
— RJC (@RJC) November 17, 2022
2024 Watch-New on @FoxNews – #DonaldTrump to address annual @RJC leadership summit in Las Vegas on Saturday morning – live – but remotely via satellite. The confab’s the first major #GOP cattle call in the burgeoning White House race #2024Election #nvpol #iacaucus #FITN #scpol pic.twitter.com/gRAmxu8dWv
— Paul Steinhauser (@steinhauserNH1) November 17, 2022
The conference will occur only days after Trump announced his candidacy for president, thus becoming the first candidate to declare for 2024.
“President Trump is the most dominant force in American politics. The prospects of an untested field of challengers, all of whom are being recruited by global power-brokers and billionaires, cannot unite the GOP or save America,” Taylor Budowich of the PAC MAGA Inc. super PAC told Fox News.
“President Trump stands alone as the sole Republican leader who will take on the corruption, deliver on his promises, and restore American glory,” he added.
While his enthusiasm is appreciated, many within the Republican Party disagree, including even Trump’s former vice president. Appearing on Fox News’s “Special Report” this past Tuesday, Pence was asked by host Bret Baier for his thoughts on the former president’s reelection bid.
“As I have traveled around the country over the last two years, what I hear again and again, Bret, is that people want to see us return to the policies of the Trump-Pence administration, but I hear people saying that they would like us to move forward with leadership that will unite our country around our highest ideals, and reflect the kind of respect and civility that the American people demonstrate to each other every day,” he replied.
This prompted Baier to ask, “So you wouldn’t vote for [Trump]?”
“I honestly believe that we’re going to have better choices, Bret,” Pence responded.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) November 16, 2022
The conference will likewise occur only two weeks after the midterm elections in which Republicans wound up grossly underperforming in a number of key races. This matters because the post-election blame game continues undeterred, with many critics still blaming Trump personally for the GOP’s performance.
“In interviews, more than two dozen state GOP leaders, elected officials and operatives said Trump’s heavy involvement in midterm contests up and down the ballot doomed them in swing states, leaving intact the Democrats’ blue wall in Pennsylvania and the industrial Midwest and costing them a winnable Senate seat in Nevada,” NBC News reported earlier in the week.
“Trump loomed large in the minds of voters, exit polls showed, and in many key races, voters rejected his hand-picked candidates. Those Republicans, including those who supported him in the past and others who tolerated him but rarely spoke out publicly, said they increasingly see Trump and Trumpism as losing propositions and would prefer he not run for president again in 2024,” NBC News added.
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