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A clever attempt by conservative radio show host Hugh Hewitt to get former President Donald Trump to confirm once and for all that he intends to run in the 2024 presidential race has predictably failed.
Speaking with Trump on Wednesday, Hewitt said that, because he knows the former president won’t answer a direct “do you plan to run” question, he intended to approach the issue from a different angle.
“I want to talk about 2024. I told you in the run-up that I know you won’t answer this question, so I’ve reframed it. Mr. President, you know your base better than anybody. You know the people who come to the rallies. If Donald Trump decides not to run in 2024, who out there will that base flock to?” the radio show host asked.
The former president initially replied by admitting that he’s convinced the “base” will be “very angry’ with him if he doesn’t run in 2024.
“If I do decide that, I think my base is going to be very angry,” he said.
This answer gave the impression that he’s leaning toward running. But what he proceeded to say next gave the opposite impression.
“I think we have a couple of people that would be very good, but it’s, you know, very early. It’s very, very early,” he said.
Listen to the full interview below:
Continuing his response, Trump then offered additional evidence that he’s potentially not running by drawing attention to his streak of endorsing winning candidates.
“You look at the endorsements. [I was], I think, 152 and two on endorsements. You saw the story yesterday that came out about the endorsement. And I take that very seriously. You know, I spent a lot of time talking to people about endorsement. They all want the endorsement of Trump,” he said.
“You remember, for years you heard the expression ‘an endorsement isn’t worth the paper it’s written on,’ and then this whole thing came along. And it’s a very important treasure. So, you know, I spend a lot of time doing that now.”
While it’s not entirely clear what story he was referencing, there have been reports in the press about him claiming in an interview last week with Nigel Farage that he’s had “152 wins and two losses” in regard to endorsements.
The full interview may be seen below:
The former president’s rhetoric about endorsements strongly suggested that he may be interested in pursuing the coveted role of GOP kingmaker.
Quite a few of his more high-profile supporters and critics have suggested this would be the optimal role for him, because it’d allow him to continue to energize the base without being a liability to the party.
While in office, his temperament was often a liability because it allowed Democrats and their media allies to keep the public focused on his behavior and words versus his accomplishments.
As kingmaker, his temperament would always be a backstory, allowing him to pump up the base and attack Democrats without endangering the White House and its policies and accomplishments.
Trump continued his remarks on Hewitt’s radio show by noting that his final decision will likely be made after the 2022 midterm elections.
“I think that uh we’ll see what happens right after the midterms. I think we’re gonna have a great 22. And I think we should have a really incredible, you know, 24,” he said.
This latter remark fits a prediction made by former Trump administration official Sebastian Gorka, who recently said that he thinks Trump won’t run for reelection unless congressional Republicans capture BOTH the House and Senate in 2022.
Why? Because if Democrats retain even the slightest degree of power in Congress, chances are the former president will face yet another impeachment.
Gorka ‘99.9%’ sure Trump will run in ’24 after visit: ‘There’s only one thing that will stop him’ https://t.co/nCtBvRhiLT
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) December 5, 2021
“Just a little reminder. Not only did they try to impeach him and fail to prosecute him on one trumped-up, spurious Russia allegation, they tried to impeach him then after he left office. I mean, this is the insanity. They tried to remove the president of the United States after he left the White House,” Gorka said last week.
This is why it’s fundamental that Democrats lose power. Trump’s “got to have four years of unfettered swamp draining,” according to Gorka.
The former president meanwhile claimed in a prior interview three months ago that the only reason he wouldn’t run if he was afflicted by some health condition.
NEW: President Trump tells me there’s only ONE reason he wouldn’t run in 2024: “I guess a bad call from a doctor or something…things happen through God…but I feel so good and I hate what’s happening to our country.” Watch in full here! @RealAmVoice https://t.co/j4w5qM4g5W pic.twitter.com/aFlwPICC0U
— David Brody (@DBrodyReports) September 24, 2021
Keep in mind that regardless of his final decision, Trump still remains the Republican Party’s top pick for 2024.
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