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Former Vice President Mike Pence will head back to Iowa this week, where he’ll be the featured speaker at a prominent Republican family’s annual gathering.
Pence’s trip to Iowa will mark his second visit in a month to the state that for a half-century has kicked off the presidential nominating calendar, another potential signal that the former vice president is moving towards launching a 2024 White House campaign.
Pence will headline the 15th annual Kaufmann Family Harvest Dinner, which will be held Thursday, Sept. 29, in Wilton — a small town in eastern Iowa. Word of his visit was shared first nationally with Fox News last week.
The gathering was launched by longtime Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Jeff Kaufmann during his years as a state lawmaker. The dinner is now hosted by his son, state Rep. Bobby Kaufmann. Money raised at the event — which will attract other Republican state legislative leaders and candidates — will go towards the younger Kaufmann’s 2022 re-election fund.
Pence is no stranger to Iowa. He has already made four visits to the state since his tenure as vice president came to a close at the end of former President Trump’s administration in January of last year. Pence made a busy two-day swing through the Hawkeye State in August, including a visit to the Iowa State Fair — a must-stop for potential or actual White House contenders.
Haley headed to Nevada after New Hampshire stop
Like Pence, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is also crisscrossing the country to campaign and raise money on behalf of fellow Republicans running in the 2022 midterms. And on Wednesday, Haley — who served as ambassador to the United Nations during the Trump administration — will be in the battleground state of Nevada to team up with former state attorney general Adam Laxalt, the GOP Senate nominee.
Nevada also happens to vote fourth in the Republican presidential nominating calendar.
Haley was just in New Hampshire, another crucial general election swing state that for a century held the first presidential primary in the race for the White House. Haley on Thursday headlined a fundraiser for GOP Gov. Chris Sununu, who’s running for re-election, and on Friday, she gave Republican Senate nominee Don Bolduc a boost at two campaign events before keynoting a Cheshire County GOP fundraising dinner.
Haley, who says she’s considering a potential run for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, emphasized in a Fox News interview that “if we don’t win in November, there is no 2024.”
And she also reiterated that “after November, we’ll figure it out. But you know what I’ve said — I’ve never lost a race. I’m not going to start now. If there’s a place for me, we’ll put 100% in, and we’ll finish it.”
Cruz gearing up for cross-country swing with stops in 2024 states
Sen. Ted Cruz will campaign in 17 states this autumn, stumping on behalf of fellow Republicans running in the midterm elections.
The cross-country tour by the conservative firebrand from Texas kicks off on Oct. 1 and ends on Nov. 4. Cruz will campaign on behalf of roughly two-dozen candidates.
And the tour will take Cruz — who was runner-up to Trump in the 2016 Republican presidential nomination race and is said to be mulling another White House run in 2024 — to Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada. The news was first reported by Politico and confirmed by Fox News.
When asked during a stop in New Hampshire earlier this month about the next White House race, Cruz told Fox News that “there’ll be plenty of time for speculation about future elections. I understand how this process works … my focus is on November of 2022 … 2022 is a pivotal fork in the road.”
Pompeo says he’s ‘doing the things’ needed for potential 2024 run
Mike Pompeo says it is no surprise he returned to New Hampshire.
“I’m here. It’s not random,” the former secretary of state told Fox News on Tuesday when asked about his latest visit to the state.
Pompeo, taking questions from reporters after headlining “Politics and Eggs” at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics last week, explained that he and his wife Susan are “thinking about what’s the right place for us to continue the fight that I spoke about today. I believe deeply that this country is worth fighting for.”
Pompeo, who was a congressman from Kansas before serving as CIA director and America’s top diplomat in the Trump administration, has made numerous stops in the past year and a half in New Hampshire as well as Iowa, South Carolina and Nevada as he travels the country helping fellow Republicans on the ballot. And the “Politics and Eggs” speaking series at St. Anselm College, just outside of Manchester, has been a must-stop for nearly a quarter-century for actual and potential White House hopefuls of both major parties.
When asked about his timetable regarding a decision on launching a presidential campaign, Pompeo told Fox News that “it will be a handful of months from now before Susan and I are actually able to sort through and figure out what we’re going to do.”
New Trump super PAC potential 2024 prelude
Some of the former president’s leading political advisers are launching a new Super PAC known as MAGA Inc. that is expected to spend heavily over the next six weeks to support Trump-endorsed candidates running in November’s midterm elections.
While the mission of the new group is to send large sums of financial support to Trump-backed candidates running in key midterm races, MAGA Inc. could pay dividends for Trump in two important ways should he follow through on his repeated flirtations and run for the White House again in 2024. Word of the super PAC was first reported by Politico and confirmed by Fox News.
First, with less than seven weeks to go until the midterms, a handful of Trump-endorsed GOP nominees running in high-profile races are trailing their Democratic rivals in the polls or fundraising, or in both crucial campaign metrics. If some of these candidates go down to defeat in November, potentially costing the GOP the chance to win back the Senate majority, some veterans of statewide and presidential campaigns say Trump will get the blame, which could impact his likely push to win back the White House. MAGA Inc.’s boosting of these candidates may prevent such a scenario.
Secondly, the new committee, which appears to have a larger staff than any of the existing Trump political organizations, could serve as a vehicle for an eventual presidential campaign and could spend freely on behalf of Trump following the midterm elections.
Secretary Pete back in New Hampshire
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg returned to New Hampshire on Saturday to headline a major state Democratic Party fundraising gala.
While the mission of the trip was to support Democrats running in November’s midterm elections, his stop could also potentially pay dividends if President Biden eventually decides against seeking a second term and Buttigieg ultimately launches another presidential campaign.
Buttigieg headlined the New Hampshire Democratic Party’s Eleanor Roosevelt Dinner, which is the state party’s largest annual fundraising event. It was Buttigieg’s third visit to New Hampshire since taking over as Transportation secretary in early 2021 at the start of Biden’s administration, but the first political stop.
Buttigieg is well known in New Hampshire and was a major draw to headline the state party dinner. The former South Bend, Indiana, mayor went from long shot to one of the top contenders for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, narrowly edging Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont in the Iowa caucuses before coming in a close second to Sanders in the New Hampshire presidential primary.
With the starting gun in the 2024 White House race firing after the conclusion of November’s elections, questions persist about whether Biden will seek a second term as president. Longtime New Hampshire Democratic Party chair Ray Buckley told Fox News that there “clearly there are a number of national leaders that stay in touch and are interested in future efforts, whether it be in two years or six years. We’ll continue to welcome everybody as we do and make sure everybody has a level playing field here.”
Newsom heads into enemy territory
Buttigieg wasn’t the only potential future Democratic presidential contender making headlines this weekend.
Gov. Gavin Newsom of California, who’s been as crafty in recent months as DeSantis in grabbing national attention — trolling both the Florida governor and GOP Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas with ads in their own states and putting up billboards in several red states where abortion is now restricted, highlighting that California is a haven for legalized abortion — was in the Lone Star state this weekend.
Facing little serious competition at home as he runs for re-election this year, was in Austin on Saturday, speaking at the Texas Tribune Festival Texas Tribune Festival with an address that was billed as a talk “on what the nation’s most populous state can teach the other 49 — including this one,” which of course referred to Texas.
Newsom, in his comments, took aim at Republican Govs. Greg Abbott of Texas and Ron DeSantis of Florida and warned fellow Democrats that the GOP is “winning right now” as that party dominating the national conversation and denied that he’s mulling a 2024 or 2028 White House run.