GOP Hopefuls Race to Out-MAGA Each Other

As the 2024 GOP presidential primary draws closer, its potential contenders spent the weekend ramping up their attacks on one another to show the MAGA base that they’re the most extreme candidate in the field.

Donald Trump used his first major campaign trips to New Hampshire and South Carolina this weekend to bash Ron DeSantis over Florida’s pandemic response, throw jabs at Nikki Haley, and continue to spread lies about elections in 2020 and 2022.

CNN: “Former President Donald Trump took aim at Ron DeSantis Saturday, claiming the Florida governor and his team are ‘trying to rewrite history’ regarding their Covid-19 pandemic response, and called the potential presidential run by his GOP rival ‘very disloyal.’”

Washington Examiner: “The former president revealed that Haley had called him recently to tell him that she is considering a possible 2024 run, with Trump responding that she ‘should do it.’ ‘I talked to her for a little while, I said, ‘Look, you know, go by your heart if you want to run,’ Trump said. ‘She’s publicly said that ‘I would never run against my president, he was a great president.’”

Elizabeth Landers, VICE: “Trump just called into a rally that [Kari Lake] is having in Arizona tonight. She put him on speaker phone where he continued to question her election results and voting machines: ‘Ultimately, she’s going to be victorious.’ (Governor Hobbs was sworn in several weeks ago.)”

As Trump himself previewed, Nikki Haley is sprinting full speed ahead towards launching her own campaign to challenge him – but still making sure to emphasize that she fully embraces the MAGA agenda.

Newsweek: “Nikki Haley took a swipe at former president Donald Trump as he hit the campaign trail in her home state of South Carolina on Saturday… Haley, who is expected to get her presidential campaign underway in the coming months, wrote on Twitter on Saturday: ‘It’s time for a new generation to lead.’”

Mediaite: “‘Right now, President Trump is the only announced Republican candidate,’ Hannity said. ‘What policy differences do you have with Trump?’ Haley said she had ‘a great working relationship with him’ and dodged the question.”

At the same time, Haley is facing even more incoming fire from fellow former Trump administration official Mike Pompeo.

CNN: “Pompeo alleges Haley plotted with Kushner and Ivanka Trump to try to become vice president”The Forward: “Pompeo accuses Haley of not being a ‘team player’ and being too focused on her political ambitions.”

The Forward: “Pompeo accuses Haley of not being a ‘team player’ and being too focused on her political ambitions.”

And South Dakota’s Kristi Noem is doubling down on her abortion extremism by criticizing DeSantis for not being even more extreme than he already is – while also echoing his threats to throw providers in jail for dispensing abortion pills.

Ian Fury, spokesman for Governor Noem: “Governor Noem was the only Governor in America on national television defending the Dobbs decision. Where was Governor DeSantis? Hiding behind a 15-week ban.”

AP: “The Republican governor and South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley released a letter to South Dakota pharmacists saying they are ‘subject to felony prosecution’ if they procure or dispense abortion-inducing drugs. The state bans all abortions except to save the life of the pregnant person.”

Florida Agency for Health Care Administration: “Willfully violating these provisions could result in criminal penalties.  See 390.0111(10)(a), Florida Statutes, and 797.03(4), Florida Statutes. The Agency will refer to local law enforcement any evidence of criminal activity that it discovers in its surveys of providers.”

Meanwhile, the RNC is pushing every candidate to the right on abortion. This weekend, they passed a resolution urging Republicans to pass the “strongest” anti-abortion legislation possible, including pushing for extremely restrictive bans nationwide. 

Republican National Committee: “The Republican National Committee urges all Republican pro-life candidates, consultants, and other national Republican Political Action Committees to…  go on offense in the 2024 election cycle… The Republican National Committee urges Republican lawmakers in state legislatures and in Congress to pass the strongest pro-life legislation possible – such as laws that acknowledge the beating hearts and experiences of pain in the unborn – underscoring the new relics of barbarism the Democratic Party represents as we approach the 2024 cycle.”