- Potential challengers for the 2024 GOP nomination drew donors at the Republican Jewish Coalition meeting.
- Mike Pence, Ron DeSantis, Mike Pompeo and Larry Hogan are among the listed speakers.
- Donald Trump, who announced his 2024 candidacy this week, will not attend the Las Vegas rally in person.
Challengers for the 2024 Republican nomination are courting former President Donald Trump’s big donors during an annual convention in Las Vegas ahead of the next presidential primary season, the AP reported.
The two-day Republican Jewish Coalition leadership meeting, which began Friday, comes days after Trump became the first Republican to announce his 2024 campaign.
Critics of the former president, including former cabinet members, have been speaking and rallying with major Republican donors in Las Vegas, with some citing Trump’s failings, the AP reported.
The event features a who’s who of potential challengers to Trump in 2024. Meetings of private donors are being held behind closed doors, the AP said, as well as speeches from Florida Gov. Ron DeSandis, a prominent Trump opponent, and former Vice President Mike Pence, who said Trump would be “very disloyal” if he ran against him, per AP.
Also listed as speakers are Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Florida Sen. Rick Scott.
Trump, however, will not attend in person. Instead, he is expected to do a video taping on Saturday, the AP reported.
Hogan, a presidential candidate, told the AP that “maybe there’s some blood in the water and the sharks are circling.”
According to the AP, potential opponents are portraying Trump as a loser. The news agency quoted Mike Pompeo, Trump’s former secretary of state, as saying before his speech Friday night: “We’ve been told we’re going to get tired of winning. But I’m tired of losing.”
Christie, another possible presidential prospect, reportedly highlighted Trump’s policy failures while dining with wealthy donors, the AP reported.
“In my view, he’s now a loser. He’s an electoral loser,” Christie said in an interview Friday, according to the AP. “Look at a general electorate, I don’t think there’s a Democrat who can win because he’s now toxic to suburban voters on a personal level and he’s earned it.”
Sununu, who attended after defeating his Democratic challenger in last week’s gubernatorial election, told the AP that his party is not expected to rally behind Trump this time. Sununu described Republicans as “just moving forward,” according to the AP.
And Pence, according to the news outlet, took a subtle jab at the former president in his keynote address. He reportedly said, “To win the future, we as Republicans and elected leaders must do more than criticize and complain.”
The AP noted that the big donors in attendance did not seem enthusiastic about supporting Trump in 2024.
Miriam Adelson, wife of the late billionaire donor Sheldon Adelson, is staying neutral in the primary, the news agency reported. Ronald Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress and heir to the Estee Lauder fortune, has no plans to endorse Trump in 2024, a spokesman said, according to the AP.
Stephen A. Schwarzman, CEO of private equity firm The Blackstone Group, told Axios that he is turning away from Trump and is instead looking toward “a new generation of leaders.”
And the AP said that on Friday, CEO Philip Friedman, who has described himself as a Trump supporter, said he was open to considering other candidates. “There are some other people who have his policies but don’t have the baggage,” Friedman said of Trump, according to the AP.