Mixed opinions from New York on Trump in 2024 | Local News


ALBANY — At a time when some GOP enthusiasts and conservative commentators say it’s in Republicans’ interests to cut ties with Donald Trump, Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-Saratoga, said the former president had his support if he sought the White House in 2024.

Stefanik, who at 38 just won a fifth term in Congress, has maintained his loyalty to Trump since leaving the Oval Office in January 2021 just days after a tumultuous protest in which angry Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol.

Trump is expected to make known his intentions to run for the White House on Tuesday at his Mar-A-Lago estate in Florida.

In a preemptive move, Stefanik said she fully supports his plan to win a second term in the Oval Office.

Her decision to back Trump early comes at a time when she is expected to retain a leadership position in the House GOP conference if Republicans ultimately gain control of the lower house in January. The House battle is still being played out due to the ongoing ballot counting in several states.

Stefanik’s spokesman, Alex DeGrasse, said Stefanik backs Rep. Kevin McCarthy, currently the House Minority Leader, to be House Speaker in January, if Republicans take control.

Jason Miller, a veteran Trump adviser, told another former Trump White House official, Steve Bannon, on his radio show Friday that Trump will declare his intention to run for president on Tuesday, adding that it will be a “very professional, very buttoned-up ad.

Stefanik, though a consistent Trump supporter, may invite some risk to his own future by siding with the most controversial figure in national politics at a time when other GOP politicians, including the governor of Florida Ron DeSantis, have shown interest in seeking the presidency.

Former Gov. George Pataki, the last Republican to win a statewide race in New York, told a Fox News interviewer this week that he wants Trump to “go away when the sun goes down.” .

Pataki, who has never lost a general election in New York, also predicted that if DeSantis and Trump face off in a primary election, the former “would blow him away.

Former state GOP vice chair Ray Scollin of Saranac Lake has been a Stefanik supporter since she launched her first campaign in 2014.

But Scollin said he thinks his party would be better off without Trump in the mix, noting he hopes Stefanik decides to cut ties with him.

“I’m not going to sit quietly on the sidelines anymore and not vocally oppose this selfish guy who tore my party apart,” Scollin said. “He does not represent the values ​​of my party. If you disagree with him, or if you don’t meet his expectations, he calls you a RINO (Republican In Name Only). He calls you a loser and he calls you second rate. He is like a child.

Trump, a native of New York, has many supporters in the state GOP. In a congressional race from western New York, Trump’s endorsement was hailed by Nick Langworthy, the state’s GOP party boss who was elected to the House this week.

Assemblyman Chris Tague, chairman of the Schoharie County GOP, said Stefanik, now chairman of the House Republican Conference, has a close alliance with Trump. “She’s been very loyal to President Trump and President Trump has been very loyal to her, and loyalty is a very important thing,” Tague said.

Trump also hosted a fundraiser for Rep. Lee Zeldin, the Long Island Republican beaten this week in the gubernatorial race by Gov. Kathy Hochul. His campaign repeatedly criticized Zeldin during the race for being an ally of Trump who opposed the 2020 election results in two states won by President Joe Biden.

Stefanik, explaining his decision to back Trump now, said in a statement, “It’s time for Republicans to unite around America’s most popular Republican with a proven track record of conservative governance. Poll after poll shows President Trump would beat any Republican challenger by massive margins and beat Joe Biden if the election were held today. President Trump has always put America first, and I look forward to supporting him so we can save America.

By now adopting a pro-Trump posture, Stefanik is showing confidence and strength as she prepares for an even more influential leadership role, said Hank Sheinkopf, a Democratic campaign strategist.

“If she looks weak, she would put herself in danger within her own conference,” Sheinkopf said, adding that Stefanik has plenty of time to recalibrate if Trump slumps in the Republican polls. “It’s long before the 2024 convention,” Sheinkopf noted.

To win a majority in the House, a party must have won at least 218 seats. With counts still ongoing in several states, The Washington Post and NBC News both predict the GOP will end up with 220 members, giving or taking up to seven seats. What the end result will be remained a matter of speculation Friday night.

Tom Doherty, a New York political consultant who left the Republican Party to become an independent following the January 6, 2021 riot, said Stefanik calculated that “in terms of leadership in the House, it helps to be for Trump”.

He said Stefanik could also put himself in a position to be chosen as Trump’s running mate if Trump wins the GOP nomination in 2024. But such a scenario could be a tall order because Trump is unlikely to be able to take New York. , even with Stefanik as his running mate, Doherty said.

He said it was unlikely that Stefanik had any desire to run for a position in state government and had instead set her sights on a national post. “You have to give him credit,” Doherty said. “She’s come a very long way in a short time.”

Noting that it is too early to project the field of candidates for the 2024 presidential race, John Faso, a former Republican congressman from Columbia County, noted that Trump was in the corner of several candidates who ended up losing. their shopping this week.

“The failure of these candidates to win should send a message,” Faso said.

Former House Speaker Paul Ryan also thinks the GOP would be better off if Trump stayed away.

“I think Donald Trump is giving us problems, politically,” Ryan told a Milwaukee television station. “We lost the House, the Senate and the White House in two years when Trump was on the ballot or in office.”

Trump had grown accustomed to receiving favorable press from three conservative news outlets owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch, Fox News, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post. But everyone became critical of him after the midterm elections, with the Post portraying the former president as Humpty Dumpty in a front-page cartoon.

Trump responded to Fox News’ criticism by writing on social media platform Truth Social: “For me, Fox News has always gone, even in 2015-2016 when I started ‘my journey.’ But now they are really gone. Such an opportunity for another medium to make a fortune and do good for America.

Trump also warned DeSantis, a Republican who won re-election this week, implying he will reveal damaging information about his possible rival for the GOP nomination.

Last week, Trump called DeSantis “Ron DeSanctimonious.” DeSantis refrained from hitting back at the former president.

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