Trump Looks Past Midterms To 2024 As He Preps For First Post-White House Rally

Trump Looks Past Midterms To 2024 As He Preps For First Post-White House Rally

Former President Donald Trump is heading to Ohio on Saturday to hold a rally for Republican House candidate Max Miller, but his team is billing the event more like a precursor to a 2024 run for president. 

Former President Donald Trump gestures as he arrives to a “Make America Great Again” campaign rally … [+] in Cincinnati, Ohio, on August 1, 2019. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

AFP via Getty Images

Key Facts

Trump’s team on Thursday sent out an “official Trump rally prep survey” that focuses almost entirely on the former president and does not mention Miller at all. 

The survey asks if the supporters “agree” that “Trump must SAVE AMERICA from Joe Biden” and whether Biden is “leading our Country in the wrong direction.”

It also asks respondents to choose what they want Trump to talk about, including choices such as “immigration,” the “coronavirus” and the “economy,” but not Miller or the 2022 midterms. 

Only one question mentions down ballot candidates, asking if the respondents agree “Trump should continue working to get strong conservatives elected around the Nation?”

Who is a “better fit to lead our Nation?” another question asks: Biden, or Trump?

Miller’s campaign did not immediately respond to Forbes’ request for comment Thursday. 

Key Background
The rally, in the northeast Ohio town of Wellington, is Trump’s first since January 6, when he told his supporters during a speech outside the White House to march to the Capitol and “fight like hell.” Miller, who has been endorsed by Trump, is running against Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio), one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach the former president earlier this year. Top Ohio Republicans are skipping the rally, including Gov. Mike DeWine, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted and Sen. Rob Portman. Portman, who is retiring next year, has endorsed Gonzalez in the race. 

What To Watch For 
Trump has yet to say if he’s running for president in 2024, though he has hinted at it several times. In April he told Fox News’ Sean Hannity he is “very seriously, beyond seriously” considering running for president in 2024. 

Trump has a reputation for focusing on himself as he stumps for other candidates. Some GOP strategists are worried Trump’s obsession with 2020 election fraud claims—which is likely to be a topic on Saturday—could hurt the Republicans’ chances of winning back the House and Senate in 2022. 

Chief Critic
Some Republicans have urged the party to move on from Trump as the GOP looks to 2022. Asked recently about Trump’s role in the 2022 midterms, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), whose relationship with Trump soured after the January 6 Capitol riot, said the former president “has his own agenda.” In a speech last month, former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan criticized the party’s loyalty to Trump, saying it should not rely on the “populist appeal of one personality.” Republicans “win majorities by directing our loyalty and respect to voters, and by staying faithful to the conservative principles that unite us,” Ryan added. 

Further Reading
Top Ohio Republicans Skip Trump’s First Post-White House Rally (Forbes)

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