The first Republican presidential “cattle call” of the 2024 election cycle will be on display in Las Vegas, beginning Friday, with top Florida Republicans set to address the influential Republican Jewish Coalition.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Florida Sen. Rick Scott are making in-person appearances and former President Trump, the only announced Republican presidential candidate, will appear via videoconference.
A host of other top national Republicans bandied about as potential presidential candidates will also speak to to the RJC’s annual leadership meeting.
The gathering begins late Friday and comes just four days after Trump announced at Mar-a-Lago that he was entering the 2024 campaign for the White House. President Biden has not made a decision about running for re-election. Trump and Scott speak early Saturday; DeSantis on Saturday night.
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Other hopefuls at the RJC conference include several former Trump administration officials: former Vice President Mike Pence, former South Carolina governor and U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Others who are scheduled to address the RJC: former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Ted Cruz of Texas, Tim Scott of South Carolina, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu.
Trump’s 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 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.”
The Republican Jewish Coalition Victory Fund spent $1.5 million in Pennsylvania targeting ads in the Black community against Democratic Sen. John Fetterman, who defeated Republican Mehmet Oz to help Democrats keep control of the U.S. Senate.
Contributing: USA Today and Associated Press National Politics Writer Steve Peoples.