OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
Former President Donald Trump used the occasion of a lucrative fundraiser at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida Tuesday evening to reveal who he would like to see in the Oval Office.
During remarks at the event, which raised around $3.2 million for his super PAC and for various Republican candidates, Trump identified Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), who is currently the No. 3 GOP member as head of the House Republican Conference, as someone he thinks has presidential mettle.
“I want to congratulate Elise on her success. Man is she moving fast. That means at this rate she’ll be President in about 6 years,” Trump remarked. “She’s always been a friend and people would say she’s upwardly mobile. She goes to Washington as a young beautiful woman who took over and all of a sudden she becomes a rocket ship, she’s the boss. She’s been a great boss, a strong boss.”
Stefanik herself took to Twitter to sing Trump’s praises and to make a bold prediction regarding the midterm elections in November.
“Thanks to our incredibly generous supporters from #NY21, New York State, and all across the country for a historic event at Mar-a-Lago this evening with President Trump! 2022 is the year we #TakeBackTheHouse and #FirePelosi once and for all! A #REDWave will Save America!” she wrote, adding an American flag emoji.
Thanks to our incredibly generous supporters from #NY21, New York State, and all across the country for a historic event at Mar-a-Lago this evening with President Trump!
— Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) January 12, 2022
New York State Conservative Party Chairman Gerry Kassar also attended the event, telling guests during his own remarks that both Stefanik and Trump were supported by the state’s Conservative Party during their first primaries.
“Elise called me and said I’d like to have you there, you’re the state chairman of the party,” Kassar recalled.
Trump has also dropped several hints about potentially running again in 2024 for a second term, but he has indicated in the past that he will likely wait to see what happens during the midterms before making a decision.
For her part, Stefanik’s recent meteoric rise within her party came at the expense of Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, a virulent anti-Trump Republican whose vote to impeach Trump last year along with her incessant blaming of him for the Jan. 6 riot cost her status and position within her party and at home.
Last spring, before she was elected to replace Cheney as head of the GOP caucus, Stefanik discussed how she saw the role and declared that Trump voters would be crucial to take back Congress this year.
“Number one, I would listen to the voters across the country, which I do every day in my district, which voted overwhelmingly for President Trump,” she said in an interview with SiriusXM’s Breitbart News.
“I would also spend the time listening to the members of the conference and making sure that we’re representing the majority of the Republican conference’s views, and when you’re not able to do that anymore, you should step down from those leadership positions,” she said ahead of the vote to replace Cheney.
“You should realize that it’s not an opportunity for you to share your personal views, whatever they may be, that you speak for the team,” Stefanik added.
“I also would make sure that we’re not attacking our fellow members and attacking President Trump and Trump supporters,” she noted further.
“If you look at the November election, President Trump earned more votes than any other Republican nominee candidate for president in our nation’s history, and those voters, that coalition is going to be critical going into the next election.