Trump’s rivals court his donors as ’24 primary season begins

Nov 18, 2022, 10:39 AM | Updated: 11:04 am

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Republicans considering a 2024 run for the White House will assemble in Las Vegas this weekend, with anxious donors and activists openly considering whether or not to support Donald Trump for a third straight time.

The former president will be among the only major Republican prospects not in attendance for the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual leadership meeting, which organizers suggest marks the unofficial beginning of the 2024 presidential primary campaign season.

Trump will speak, but just by video conference, while leading rivals including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former Vice President Mike Pence will deliver keynote addresses in person.

The gathering comes just days after Trump became the first candidate to formally launch a 2024 campaign. His allies initially hoped his early announcement might ward off serious primary challenges, but that’s not likely after his loyalists lost midterm contests last week in battleground states from Arizona to Pennsylvania. His political standing within the GOP, already weakening, plummeted further.

Mocking one of Trump’s slogans, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted before his appearance Friday: “We were told we’d get tired of winning. But I’m tired of losing.”

There is still plenty of praise for the former president.

“There’s no question that what President Trump accomplished over his four years in terms of strengthening the the U.S.-Israel relationship was unparalleled. He was the most pro-Israel president ever,” said Matt Brooks, the Republican Jewish Coalition’s executive director.

However, that may not be enough to win over the coalition’s leading donors this time, Brooks continued.

“For a lot of people who are attending this conference, this is about the future,” Brooks said. “And for some of them, President Trump may be their answer. For others, they’re interested in what others have to say.”

With a sprawling fundraising operation featuring small-dollar contributions, Trump does not need major donors to reach for the GOP nomination a third time. But unwillingness by big-money Republicans to commit to him — at least, for now — could signal a much broader shift in a party that has been defined almost wholly by its allegiance to Trump for the past six years.

The Republican Jewish Coalition’s two-day speaking program, beginning Friday, features DeSantis, a leading Trump rival, and Pence, whom Trump blames for not overturning the 2020 election. Other speakers include Pompeo, former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu and Florida Sen. Rick Scott.

Pompeo tweeted before his appearance on a m

House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, who could become the House speaker when Republicans take over in January, is also scheduled.

The annual event is playing out at the Las Vegas Strip’s Venetian Hotel in a nod to the Republican Jewish Coalition’s longtime benefactor, Sheldon Adelson, a billionaire casino magnate who died last year. His wife Miriam Adelson remains a fundraising force within the GOP, though her level of giving in the recent midterm election, which exceeded $20 million, was somewhat scaled back.

The 76-year-old Israeli-born Miriam Adelson “is staying neutral” in the GOP’s 2024 presidential primary, according to the family’s longtime political gatekeeper Andy Abboud.

But that hasn’t stopped ambitious Republicans from courting her.

The Adelsons donated $172.7 million during the 2020 presidential campaign, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, which set a new record for donations in a single election and was more than three times the next biggest donor in either party. Over the past decade, they have donated nearly a half billion dollars to Republican candidates and causes.

And while the Adelsons were prominent Trump supporters in the past, Miriam Adelson is unwilling to commit to him as the next presidential primary season gets underway.

She is not alone among major donors and party leaders.

Longtime Trump backer Stephen A. Schwarzman, chairman and CEO of the Blackstone Group investment firm, told Axios this week that he would back someone from a “new generation” of Republicans. Kenneth C. Griffin, the hedge-fund billionaire, is already openly backing DeSantis.

In an interview this week, Pence slapped at Trump and his loyalists by noting that midterm Republican candidates who “were focused on the past, particularly those that were trying to relitigate the last election, did not do as well.”

More than any other position or policy, Trump has been consumed by perpetuating lies about his 2020 loss since leaving office. He endorsed dozens of candidates in 2022 based largely on whether they embraced his baseless claims. Many of them lost last week.

“I think we will have better choices in 2024,” Pence told The Associated Press. “And I’m very confident that Republican primary voters will choose wisely.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - Flowers and candles are placed around crosses on May 28, 2022, at a memorial outside Robb El...
Associated Press

Uvalde shooting victims seek $27B, class action in lawsuit

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Victims of the Uvalde school shooting that left 21 people dead have filed a lawsuit seeking $27 billion against local and state police, the city and other school and law enforcement officials for failing to follow active shooter protocol because authorities waited more than an hour to confront the attacker inside […]
20 hours ago
The Democratic National Committee Rules and Bylaws Committee discuss proposed changes to the primar...
Associated Press

Dems move to make South Carolina, not Iowa, 1st voting state

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats voted Friday to remove Iowa as the leadoff state on the presidential nominating calendar and replace it with South Carolina starting in 2024, a dramatic shakeup championed by President Joe Biden to better reflect the party’s deeply diverse electorate. The Democratic National Committee’s rule-making arm made the move to strip Iowa […]
20 hours ago
Associated Press

GOP’s Joe Kent contests results of Washington state race

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — Republican Joe Kent’s campaign said Friday it intends to request a machine ballot recount of the counties within southwest Washington state’s 3rd Congressional District. “We believe the election workers did their best to ensure a fair election and count the ballots accurately,” his campaign said in a statement. “But given the […]
20 hours ago
FILE - In this May 24, 2004 file photo, a Mount Graham red squirrel darts through trees on Mount Gr...
Associated Press

Endangered red squirrel found in Arizona sees increase in population

The latest survey shows another increase in the population of the endangered Mount Graham red squirrel in the Pinaleno Mountains of Arizona.
20 hours ago
FILE - Johnny Hincapie raises his fist as he leaves the courthouse in New York, Jan. 25, 2017. Atto...
Associated Press

Man to receive almost $18 million for wrongful NY conviction

A man who was freed in 2015 after spending a quarter-century in prison for an infamous tourist killing will receive nearly $18 million in legal settlements from the city and state of New York, his attorneys confirmed Friday. Lawyers for Johnny Hincapie said it marks one of the largest settlements for a wrongful conviction in […]
20 hours ago
Associated Press

Mamie King-Chalmers, woman in civil rights photo, dies at 81

DETROIT (AP) — Mamie King-Chalmers, who as a young Black woman appeared in an iconic photo about civil rights struggles in Alabama, has died at the age of 81. She died Tuesday in Detroit, her home since the 1970s, daughter Lasuria Allman said. A cause wasn’t disclosed. King-Chalmers, 21 at the time, was one of […]
20 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...
DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
...
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
...
SCHWARTZ LASER EYE CENTER

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.
Trump’s rivals court his donors as ’24 primary season begins