As the Republican National Committee closed its summer meeting in Nashville last week, it was made clear that warmth and even passion for Donald Trump is felt by most of the 138 committeemen, committeewomen and state chairmen.
But, as Newsmax discovered, those sentiments do not necessarily translate into a call for the 45th president to make a comeback bid for the White House in 2024.“The ideal nominee for me is a Trump without the tweets,” one RNC member who requested anonymity told Newsmax, “If we could have a candidate who maintained Trump’s agenda but had a warmer style, we’d win.”
The name that immediately came to the RNC’s lips as an alternative to Trump as a presidential hopeful was that of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, considered a close ally of the former president.
“I’m going to stick with Trump for a while,” Oklahoma Republican National Committeewoman and former State GOP Chairman Pam Pollard told Newsmax, “I need to see if he’s electable. Right now, 90% of the Republicans back in Oklahoma are saying ‘Trump is our only option.’”
Should Trump not become a candidate in ’24, Pollard said, “Gov. DeSantis would be my first choice. He’s a proven conservative and will stand up to the federal government and the media. He’s brilliant.”
Pollard’s view was strongly echoed by Arizona’s new National Committeewoman Lori Klein Corbin.
“If Trump runs, he’ll clean out the field and wrap up the nomination,” said Corbin, “But without Trump in the race, everyone loves Ron DeSantis.
“Trump is popular in Georgia and DeSantis is popular in Georgia,” Georgia National Committeeman Jason Thompson told Newsmax without hesitation.
Kansas State Chairman Mike Kuckelman predicted that “a lot of good folks could get into the ’24 race [for the Republican presidential nomination] — like Gov. Ron DeSantis or my good friend Mike Pompeo [Trump’s] secretary of state and a former Kansas congressman]. It’s a very promising field.”
But Kuckelman quickly added: “Before we talk about the 2024 field, let’s see what Donald Trump does.”
One RNC member we spoke to, Tennessee National Committeeman Oscar Brock, made it clear he is looking at “new faces” in the party for ’24.
“I really like [South Carolina’s Sen.] Tim Scott and am anxious to learn more about him,” said Brock, son of the late Tennessee Sen. and Republican National Chairman Bill Brock.
Long considered a haven for “establishment” Republicans, the RNC has in a short time become a home for Trump loyalists
The prevailing sentiment at the Nashville party conclave was clearly “wait and see what Trump does” and, if he doesn’t run, who is most like him except in style.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.