Speculation Grows That Other GOP Presidential Candidates are Lining up for 2020
Most of the possible candidates shoot down the rumors.
As the barrage continues by the left and the left-leaning media against President Donald Trump, rumors are swirling that other Republicans are pondering the presidential race in 2020. The New York Times calls it a “shadow campaign.” The paper claims GOP hopefuls are “cultivating some of the party’s most prominent donors, courting conservative interest groups and carefully enhancing their profiles.”
Vice President Mike Pence
Pence called the rumor “disgraceful and offensive.”
The Times suggested on Saturday that VP Mike Pence is considering a run. The paper noted his schedule is so full of political events “that he is acting more like a second-term vice president hoping to clear the field than a No. 2 sworn in a little over six months ago.” It also noted that Pence created his own political fund-raising arm, Great America Committee. It has raised more in disclosed amounts than Trump’s political committee.
Pence responded with an angry tweet. He called the rumor “disgraceful and offensive.”
— Vice President Pence (@VP) August 6, 2017
White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters immediately dismissed the rumor to the Times, “The president is as strong as he’s ever been in Iowa, and every potentially ambitious Republican knows that.”
White House adviser Kellyanne Conway also shot down the rumor. It’s “complete fiction, complete fabrication,” she said on ABC’s The Week.
Other Names Floated
Kasich has not ruled out running even if Trump does.
There are three other names in the mix. The Times observed that “Senators Tom Cotton and Ben Sasse have already been to Iowa this year.” The paper also noted that John Kasich is considering a visit to New Hampshire. That state is another key early primary state. According to the Daily Caller, Cotton is planning a $5,000-per-person fundraiser in New York in September.
The three are different types of challengers. Sasse is a stalwart conservative (he has a lifetime rating from The American Conservative Union of 100 percent). Cotton is fairly conservative. Kasich is a moderate.
The Times admits that most of the candidates are contemplating a run only if Trump is not in the race. Kasich, however, has not ruled out running even if Trump does.
Anyone But Trump
Bill Kristol, editor at large for The Weekly Standard, wants someone to replace Trump on the GOP ticket. He says he’s in informal talks to form a “Committee Not to Renominate the President.” Some consider Kristol an intellectual conservative and neo-con who opposes Trump’s brash populism. In a tweet, he compared the first months of Trump’s presidency to the fall of Rome.
The speed with which we're recapitulating the decline and fall of Rome is impressive. What took Rome centuries we're achieving in months. https://t.co/4TVXc4C5Ex
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) July 2, 2017
That tweet, combined with the name of his proposed committee, is likely a veiled throwback to President Nixon’s failed reelection group. The Committee for the Re-Election of the President was sarcastically known as CREEP. It was part of Nixon’s downfall during Watergate.
Some believe Kristol’s opposition to Trump is because he has moved to the left in recent years. He added fuel to the fire by this tweet:
Conservatives could "rebrand" as liberals. Seriously. We're for liberal democracy, liberal world order, liberal economy, liberal education. https://t.co/MvSbZCfLEZ
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) August 5, 2017
While the rumors are intriguing, at the moment they’re just rumors. Especially if Trump runs again.
Follow Rachel on Twitter at Rach_IC.