OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
It has been widely assumed in Republican circles that if former President Donald Trump officially announced that he would run again for the White House in 2024, he would be unopposed in the GOP primary due to his still significant popularity.
But that may not be the case.
Trump has all but officially declared his candidacy, and yet, a book publisher may have accidentally revealed that if he does declare, he will have a challenger for the Republican primary.
The book, “America, a Redemption Story,” is a memoir by Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), and the publisher, Thomas Nelson, an imprint of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, noted on the copyright page: “Senator Scott is a rising star who sees and understands the importance of bipartisanship to move America forward. This book is a political memoir that includes his core messages as he prepares to make a presidential bid in 2022.”
The publisher has since claimed an “error,” saying Scott did not approve a line about his possible presidential bid.
Despite Scott being on the national political radar for 2024 it was a great local in-state reporter (@MaryCaitlinByrd ) who found this and reported first.
Support your local paper.
Publisher admits error, says Scott did not OK line about presidential bid https://t.co/v5QPcYrM1D
— Brady Quirk-Garvan (@bradyqg) July 31, 2022
That said, Scott told The Post and Courier over the weekend that it was “fascinating that that’s the copy on the book” but that it is not meant to launch a presidential bid. And since then, Thomas Nelson has taken full responsibility for the “error,” according to The Daily Wire, which added a statement from the publisher.
“The description on the copyright page was our error and is not accurate,” the statement said. “It was not done at the direction or approval of the Senator or his team. We are working to correct this immediately.”
The outlet continued:
Scott was mentioned in a recent report from The Washington Post as one of approximately a dozen Republican candidates who could run for president in 2024.
The top two contenders for the Republican nomination in 2024 are former President Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
Other potential candidates included former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), former Vice President Mike Pence, former U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), and Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson.
Previous reports have noted that DeSantis is assembling a massive fundraising war chest.
“DeSantis shows no signs of slowing down amid his meteoric rise to the top of the Republican Party as he beat former President Donald Trump in fundraising by nearly eight figures in the first half of the year,” The Daily Wire reported last month, adding:
DeSantis raised $45 million during the same period of time, $9 million more than the former president. In April, DeSantis had already raised more than $100 million for his re-election effort in Florida, which CNN noted might have made him perhaps the first gubernatorial candidate in history “to reach the nine-figure milestone solely through donations.”
The CNN report noted that not only does the staggering sum send a strong message to Democrats in the state but also puts other Republicans aiming to potentially run in 2024 on notice.
In addition, according to NBC News, DeSantis now has “an unprecedented $130 million war chest” he has at his disposal for his reelection campaign this year.
Former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, one of 16 candidates who lost the Republican nomination to Trump in 2016, said recently he believes DeSantis is the future of the party, according to the Tampa Bay Times, adding that he was frequently mentioned in conversations during a recent cruise with other conservative figures.
“The name I hear most frequently talking to people is Ron DeSantis,” Walker noted. “What they said to me all the time is, they feel like DeSantis has the kind of guts, the same kind of backbone as Trump, but is the newer, younger, fresher version. That’s what I hear repeatedly.”
He has also recently been feted as GOP presidential candidate by podcast giant Joe Rogan and billionaire SpaceX and Tesla founder Elon Musk.
Musk, who has also said it’s time for Trump to retire for several reasons, said that “if DeSantis runs against Biden in 2024, then DeSantis will easily win – he doesn’t even need to campaign.”
That said, Trump’s endorsements continue to be the most sought-after with GOP candidates, and his record of victory thus far has been incredibly high.