The race for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination officially kicked off on November 15th, 2022 when former President Donald Trump declared his candidacy for the White House. Trump was joined by three others — ex-South Carolina governor and United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, and ex-Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson — throughout the first few months of 2023.
Yet there are numerous additional potential hopefuls such as former Vice President Mike Pence, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu, who like Hutchinson believe that they can mount formidable counter-campaigns to dethrone Trump as the defacto GOP frontrunner and defeat incumbent Democratic President Joe Biden in the general election.
Whether that turns out to be true remains to be seen. But on Sunday's edition of Meet the Press, NBC News moderator Chuck Todd touched upon the unique challenges posed by taking on Trump.
Host Willie Geist got the ball rolling.
"Chuck, good morning. It's good to see you. So, former President Trump had that town hall meeting in New Hampshire this week that was broadcast on CNN, alarmed a lot of people in the country, not least of which, a lot of members of the Republican Party, who say if that's what we're putting out there, if that's what we're gonna run with, we're not gonna win independence. We're likely not gonna win the general election. We can debate whether or not that's true. But Ron DeSantis sees an opening. We saw some outlines. I think the key there from Monica was indirect criticism of former President Trump. So if he does indeed get in, what will be his strategy to go at Donald Trump?" Geist asked Todd,
He wondered the same thing.
"That's a question I have because if those remarks are an indication of the strategy, I don't know if that's gonna work, because I don't know if Trump's supporters accept the premise that they've been losing, and, and that's the, you know, he's gonna say, 'Hey, we're, we're gonna keep losing.' Well, Donald Trump has convinced his supporters that they're, they haven't been losing. They've been winning. The deep state and Democrats and the media have been in cahoots to, to sort of rig it against them. So that's the problem here," Todd opined.
Todd explained that despite Trump's nonstop barrage of debunked conspiracy theories along with the multitude of legal entanglements shadowing him, Trump still maintains a tight grip on the party's conservative bloc of primary voters.
"What I noticed this week is the just sheer paralysis that Republicans — elected officials — have when it comes to dealing with Trump. Cause the other thing that happened this week is the E. Jean Carroll defamation suit. So here he is convicted by a jury of defamation about a sexual assault and it was crickets from his party. Even Mike Pence, Willie, who is somebody who has built his political career on the ideally of, on the idea of leading with wearing your morality on your sleeve, essentially said, you know, I think it's only the media that's interested in this," Todd observed. "So I, I don't think they have figured out how to take him on yet. Uh, and I don't, and I think that's Ron DeSantis as well."
"Yeah, that's probably not gonna cut at what we saw yesterday," he said. "But we'll see if he steps things up when he actually gets in the race."
Watch below or at this link.
\u201c\u201cI don\u2019t think they have figured out how to take him on yet.\u201d - @ChuckTodd on how other 2024 Republican candidates will challenge former President Trump.\u201d— TODAY (@TODAY) 1684066664