OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
The contest for the next Republican presidential nomination has already garnered several combatants, but one name who has been mentioned as a contender has taken his hat out of the ring.
Former President Donald Trump’s former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that he will not be campaigning for president against his former boss, Fox News reported.
“I have made a decision,” he said on the Fox News show “Special Report.” “[We] have prayerfully come to the conclusion we are not going to join the race in 2024. While we care deeply about America and the issues I’ve been talking about for the past year-and-half – and frankly for decades – matter an awful lot, this isn’t our moment.”
He was asked if the presence of Trump in the primary was a factor in his decision not to compete.
“No, not at all. This is a deeply personal decision for Susan and me and our son, Nick and his wife, Rachel,” he said. “It wasn’t about what this would look like. And frankly, this race, I hope, isn’t about people. I hope it’s about these ideas.”
He stressed that the voters should not be swayed by personalities but by the policies of those who want their vote.
He said that he is concerned that the United States was losing its military edge and that the government spends $2 trillion more than it gets in.
“These are things that I care about. We were thinking about, can we impact them? Is this the right time for us to go seek the presidency, to go try and work on this? And we just simply came to the conclusion this wasn’t this wasn’t the moment for us,” he said.
He declined to give an endorsement but said that he was looking for a candidate who focuses on national security and working families.
“When I figure out who that person is, I feel like I’ve always done in my life, I’ll get behind them and do everything I can to help them,” he said.
But he did appear to take a swipe at Trump when he said that Americans are “thirsting for people making arguments, not just tweets.”
“I think they’re looking for someone who can clearly articulate their vision for what parents ought to be doing to help their kids be successful in schools and how we take back crime from our streets and cities,” the former secretary of state said.
“I don’t know if that will end up being President Trump that the American people choose or if that is who our party will choose to be its nominee. But I’m hopeful that it will be those debates about real arguments, things that really matter,” he said. “And if that happens, America will be in a pretty damn good place.”
But another potential 2024 Republican contender has been making noise.
According to the Q1 2023 expenditure report of the Florida Republican Party, approximately two dozen campaign employees for GOP Governor Ron DeSantis’ 2022 campaign are currently being paid by the party, a report noted on Friday.
Although the Florida governor has been evasive about his presidential aspirations, his actions tell a different story, the Daily Caller reports. The state GOP’s filings with Secretary of State Cord Byrd’s office show that the party has paid 24 current or former employees of DeSantis’ campaign, including Christina Pushaw, his former gubernatorial press secretary.
All told, and despite not directly confronting front-runner former President Donald Trump, DeSantis seems to be taking steps to prepare for a possible presidential run, the outlet continued.
The Florida GOP’s hiring of speechwriter Nate Hochman and former DeSantis congressional aide Dustin Carmack was already known, but the wider staffing approach of the DeSantis team had not been reported before.
The news outlet was tipped about the additional hirings when a Florida Republican staff member used an email address with the domain name rondesantis.com while claiming to conduct business for the state GOP.
According to campaign documents filed with the Secretary of State’s office, the DeSantis campaign provided almost $9.6 million to the state GOP in 2022. During Q1 2023, the campaign paid the party over $200,000 as a vendor. The state GOP returned $3 million to Friends of Ron DeSantis, the official DeSantis campaign committee, in Q1 2023, said the outlet, citing records.
Florida GOP chairman Christian Ziegler told the news outlet that the state GOP supports DeSantis “just as any state party does for the sitting Governor of their state.”
“As for the speculation about potential Presidential campaign staff, I haven’t had discussions with the governor about that,” he noted further in a statement.