Former President Donald Trump has been excluded from the invite list for The Club for Growth's annual donor retreat.
The prominent conservative fundraising group will hold its annual gathering next month, when potential 2024 Republican presidential candidates, minus Trump, will mingle with donors.
The Club for Growth (TCFG) President David McIntosh told reporters Monday that the former president was not invited because the party needs to move on.
"The party should be open to another candidate," McIntosh said, The New York Times reported.
Former Vice President Mike Pence, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have been invited to TCFG's event in Florida, McIntosh said.
McIntosh declined to say whether any other contenders had accepted the invitations.
Trump officially kicked off his 2024 campaign in November, soon after the election. He's the only major candidate to announce a run for the White House.
Haley is expected to launch her presidential bid on Feb. 15.
The Club for Growth's president told reporters Monday that Republicans underperformed in November's midterms due to the abortion issue, in light of the Supreme Court overturning its Roe v. Wade decision, and because Trump-backed candidates who insisted the 2020 election had been stolen were viewed as "future Trumps."
"Trump was on the ballot," McIntosh said. "So I worry that when we get into a general election, if Trump is the nominee, they're going to be able to take a chunk of Republican votes."
McIntosh was asked if he thought Trump could defeat President Joe Biden in a rematch. "Anything is possible,” he said. "The last three elections show he's [Trump] lost."
TCFG has spent nearly $150 million in the past two election cycles.
The club and WPA Intelligence last month conducted a survey that showed DeSantis might pose a bigger threat to Biden's reelection chances than Trump.
The poll showed DeSantis ahead of Biden 45% to 42%, but the president holding a 49% to 41% advantage over Trump.
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