Former NFL star and Republican Herschel Walker raises $3.7 million in five weeks for his Georgia Senate bid

Herschel Walker
Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker speaks at a rally featuring former President Donald Trump in Perry, Ga., on September 25, 2021.

  • Former NFL star Herschel Walker has raised $3.7 million since entering the Georgia Senate race.
  • The fundraising haul is the strongest start for a GOP Senate candidate in the state this year.
  • Walker has received the backing of former President Donald Trump, a huge asset in the GOP primary.

Former NFL player and Republican Herschel Walker hauled in $3.7 million for his 2022 Senate bid in Georgia since announcing his candidacy about five weeks ago, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

On Monday, Walker’s campaign announced that it has collected campaign contributions from almost 50,000 donors in every US state since entering the race against Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock, who was elected in a special runoff election in January to fill the remaining term of former GOP Sen. Johnny Isakson and must face voters again for a full term next year.

Walker’s fundraising haul represents the strongest start for any GOP Senate candidate running against Warnock in the 2022 cycle thus far.

“Though we only had 5 weeks to fundraise this quarter, tens of thousands of Georgians and patriots across the country stepped up to the plate to help us take back the United States Senate,” Walker said in a statement. “We are grateful for each and every cent and look forward to continuing to travel across this great state shaking hands with real Georgians and hearing about the issues facing their communities.”

The other Republicans currently in the race include state Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black and two military veterans – Latham Saddler and Kelvin King. They have not yet announced their most recent fundraising totals.

However, Saddler was the previous leader in July, having raised roughly $1.4 million in three months. Black raised about $700,000, while King collected around $370,000.

Warnock has not yet released his most recent fundraising figures, but reported more than $10.5 million cash on hand in July.

Walker, a first-time candidate who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, was seen as a leading candidate even before he entered the race, despite some pushback in some conservative circles.

According to a Politico report in July, Senate Minority Mitch McConnell of Kentucky reportedly saw Walker’s “complicated” personal history as “a vulnerability” in regaining control of the Senate, with the publication referencing an Associated Press report that detailed threats that the former football standout allegedly made to his ex-wife, along with questions surrounding his business dealings.

However, McConnell recently had warm words for Walker’s candidacy.

“There are some things written that indicate he’s had some challenges in his life. On the other hand, the good news is, he’s made several impressive performances on national television. His whole team is the same team around [former Sen.] Johnny Isakson,” McConnell told Politico last month. “He’s called me; we had a good conversation. I think there’s every indication he’s going to be a good candidate.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

‘It’s irrelevant’: Stacey Abrams brushes aside Trump mockingly endorsing her in order to needle Georgia GOP Gov. Brian Kemp

Stacey Abrams
Former Georgia state House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams.

  • Stacey Abrams brushed aside former President Trump’s invocation of her name at GOP rallies.
  • For months, Trump has taunting Gov. Kemp by saying that Abrams might have been a better choice.
  • “His posture is not relevant to the work that I’m doing or to the positions I take,” she said of Trump on CNN.

For months, former President Donald Trump has brought up Stacey Abrams among the GOP faithful.

Abrams, a former Democratic lawmaker in the Georgia House of Representatives who narrowly lost the state’s 2018 gubernatorial election against now-Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, has been focused on her voting-rights advocacy and rarely mentions the former president.

However, Trump, who is still upset that Kemp refused to overturn the election victory of now-President Joe Biden in Georgia last fall, has continued to poke his onetime ally by repeating the claim that he’d prefer Abrams in the Governor’s Mansion instead of his fellow Republican.

During an Ohio rally this past summer, the former president suggested that Abrams might have been a more preferable choice for the GOP than Kemp.

“By the way, we might have been better if she did win for governor of Georgia, if you want to know the truth,” Trump said. “We might have had a better governor if she did win.”

While speaking at a rally in Georgia last month, Trump once again invoked Abrams in order to take a dig at Kemp, who was not present at the event.

“Stacey, would you like to take his place? It’s OK with me,” the former president said of the GOP governor, who’s up for reelection in 2022. “Of course having her, I think, might be better than having your existing governor, if you want to know what I think. Might very well be better.”

During an appearance on CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront” last Thursday, Abrams was not impressed with Trump’s mock endorsement when asked if the the former president’s comments might help or hurt her.

“It’s irrelevant,” she told Burnett. “His posture is not relevant to the work that I’m doing or to the positions I take. My responsibility is to do what I can to ensure that no matter who you are, and no matter who you choose, that you have the freedom to vote in the United States.”

She added: “That is why we have to keep laser-focused on the assault on our democracy … an assault that not only happened on Jan. 6, but has happened again and again since that time in statehouses that have restricted access to the right to vote and constricted not only that but the ability of election workers to do their jobs.”

Abrams has not yet announced if she will run against Kemp next year in a potential rematch.

While Trump has not endorsed any of the lesser-known candidates running against Kemp in the GOP gubernatorial primary, has already endorsed Herschel Walker, the former NFL star and Heisman Trophy winner, who recently entered the 2022 US Senate race against Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Stephanie Grisham says Trump has become great at ‘taking advantage’ of the GOP base: ‘He knows they’ll do whatever he says’

Trump Grisham
White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham looks on as US President Donald Trump speaks to journalists on the South Lawn of the White House on October 4, 2019.

  • On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Stephanie Grisham said that Trump is “taking advantage” of the GOP base.
  • The former White House press secretary points to the ex-president’s continued false election claims.
  • “He will never admit to being wrong, or to losing anything,” she said during the interview.

Former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham on Sunday said that former President Donald Trump has become great at “taking advantage” of the Republican base, which includes many Americans who are “desperate for a voice” in government.

During an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Grisham recalled some of Trump’s actions while returns were still coming in from key battleground states on Election night last November.

The former president was incensed over the election results from Arizona, a longtime Republican stronghold-turned-swing state that Fox News called for now-President Joe Biden earlier than most news networks.

In the early hours of the morning after Election Day, Grisham said that there was an internal discussion about how Trump would proceed with his remarks given that no candidate had reached the 270-electoral vote threshold to declare victory.

“When they went down to take the stage, I remember specifically there was still kind of a debate on what he should say when he took the stage, and it was kind of decided [that] he should say, ‘We’ll see what happens,’ which, obviously, he did not say that when he took the stage,” she told host Chuck Todd. “So I think he just refused to give up. I mean, it’s Donald Trump, right?”

The former president ended up giving a fiery speech, claiming that he had won the election, even while vote counting was still ongoing in many states.

“We were getting ready to win this election,” Trump said at roughly 2:30 a.m. ET. “Frankly, we did win this election.”

He added: “This is a major fraud on our nation,” without providing any verifiable evidence of wrongdoing.

Grisham said that Trump’s continued insistence on pointing to a stolen election has only served to take advantage of the people who have looked to him for leadership.

“He will never admit to being wrong, or to losing anything,” she said. “And now he’s doubling and tripling down because he’s got so many people supporting that theory.”

“I think one thing he’s gotten really good at, or he did get really good at as president, is taking advantage of the base and this group of people who are, you know, so desperate for a voice, which I understand and support, but I think they’re being taken advantage of now and I think he knows they’ll do whatever he says,” she added.

Grisham, who was former first lady Melania Trump’s chief of staff and press secretary at the time of her resignation on Jan. 6, recently released a tell-all memoir, “I’ll Take Your Questions Now,” which chronicles her time in the Trump White House.

She also told Todd that she believes that Trump will run for his old job in 2024 and likely bring along “people of the January 6 mind,” alluding to the deadly insurrection that occurred during the certification of the Electoral College count at the US Capitol.

“I don’t want him to run again,” Grisham said. “I think people aren’t remembering that if he does run again in 2024, he’ll have no guardrails because he’ll never have to worry about reelection, so he will do whatever he wants.”

She emphasized: “He will hire whomever he wants, and I think that includes people of the January 6 mind.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Stephanie Grisham says Trump will run for president in 2024 and believes he’ll hire ‘people of the Jan. 6 mind’

White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham listens as US President Donald Trump speaks to the media aboard Air Force One while flying between El Paso, Texas and Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, August 7, 2019.
White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham listens as US President Donald Trump speaks to the media aboard Air Force One while flying between El Paso, Texas, and Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, on August 7, 2019.

  • On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Stephanie Grisham said that she believes Trump will run for president in 2024.
  • Grisham said that the former president will feel empowered to hire “people of the Jan. 6 mind.”
  • The GOP official brought up the DOJ and it being “weaponized” in another Trump term.

Former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham on Sunday said that she believes former President Donald Trump will run for his old job in 2024 and hire “people of the January 6 mind.”

During an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Grisham told host Chuck Todd that she was initially skeptical of another presidential bid by the former president.

“At first, I really didn’t think he’d run again,” she said. “I honestly thought this was a lot of his bluster, which he’s good at doing. He was doubling down. He’ll never admit to losing. I thought he was going to just kind of raise some money so he could pay off legal bills.”

She added: “I think now, because his base is reacting to him the way that it is, and polls are showing that he’s very much the leader of the Republican Party … but also on this current attack on democracy with regard to election integrity, I think he is going to run again. That’s why I’m speaking out the way that I am.”

Grisham, who was former first lady Melania Trump’s chief of staff and press secretary at the time of her resignation on Jan. 6, recently released a tell-all memoir, “I’ll Take Your Questions Now,” which chronicles her time in the Trump White House.

In the interview with Todd, Grisham laid out her case of why the former president should not return to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

“I don’t want him to run again,” she said. “I think people aren’t remembering that if he does run again in 2024, he’ll have no guardrails because he’ll never have to worry about reelection, so he will do whatever he wants.”

She emphasized: “He will hire whomever he wants, and I think that includes people of the January 6 mind.”

Grisham went on to reference an earlier segment of the program that featured Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, where Todd and the lawmaker spoke of Trump’s election pressure on the Department of Justice.

“Earlier, your guest [Whitehouse] was talking about the DOJ and it being weaponized,” she said. “Imagine who he [Trump] could put into the DOJ in 2024 knowing he’s got no consequences there.”

Grisham, who moved to Kansas at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last year and traveled back and forth from Washington, DC, until she left the White House over the administration’s response to the Jan. 6 riot, recently told New York Magazine’s Olivia Nuzzi that she was skeptical of a possible “rebrand” due to her old ties to the Trumps.

“I don’t think I can rebrand. I think this will follow me forever,” Grisham said of her time in the White House. “I believe that I was part of something unusually evil, and I hope that it was a one-time lesson for our country and that I can be a part of making sure that at least that evil doesn’t come back now.”

Grisham, who said in a recent CNN interview that she didn’t vote for Trump in the 2020 election, warned that a new Trump White House term would be defined by “revenge.”

During an interview with Insider last Friday, Grisham said that she struggled with anxiety and had to be “deprogrammed” after her resignation.

Read the original article on Business Insider

County GOP calls for an audit of the 2020 election results in Florida, a state that Trump won

Trump Florida rally
Former President Donald Trump speaks at a rally at the Sarasota Fairgrounds in Sarasota, Fla., on July 3, 2021.

  • The Lake County, Fla., GOP is pressuring state Republicans to conduct an audit of the 2020 election.
  • Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has reaffirmed the integrity fo the state’s voting systems.
  • However, Lake County Republicans, including state Rep. Anthony Sabatini, want an electoral review.

Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida and top conservative lawmakers in Tallahassee are being pushed by members of their own party to audit the 2020 presidential election results, despite former President Donald Trump’s relatively comfortable win in the state last year.

DeSantis, an ally of Trump and a potential 2024 GOP presidential contender, said that Florida “did it right” in administering the 2020 presidential election, but still signed off on restrictive voting measures passed by the conservative-dominated legislature in May.

However, the Lake County Republican Party, based in a fast-growing and GOP-leaning jurisdiction near Orlando, unanimously approved five resolutions to send to every Florida state lawmaker in calling for a full audit of the election results.

Last fall, Trump defeated now-President Joe Biden in Florida by a 51.2% to 47.9% margin – the former president won the state with 5,668,731 votes, while the current president secured 5,297,045 votes, an advantage of more than 371,000 votes.

Biden made inroads in populous localities like Duval County, which contains Jacksonville, and Orange County, which is anchored by Orlando, but Trump overperformed with Latino voters in crucial Miami-Dade County, a longtime Democratic stronghold that the party must dominate to counter GOP advantages in the Panhandle and Southwest Florida.

The push comes as GOP state Rep. Anthony Sabatini, who represents part of the county in the Florida House, filed House Bill 99 last month, which would allow an “independent” third party to conduct a “forensic” audit of the results.

In its current form, Sabatini’s bill calls for audits in counties with populations over 250,000 – meaning the proposal would affect many Democratic and minority-heavy jurisdictions like Orange, Broward, Palm Beach, and Hillsborough counties – as well as some GOP-leaning locales like Lake, Brevard, Lee, and Polk counties.

“It’s not about margin of victory,” Sabatini recently told Politico. “The fact is that people want total verification of the election results. They want an independent review of the votes.”

The push comes as GOP legislators, encouraged by Trump, have sought a review of the results in pivotal swing states including Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

Last month, a report from the group Cyber Ninjas, which for conducted a monthslong forensic audit of the results from Arizona’s populous Maricopa County, showed that Biden won the state.

The former president has pressed GOP lawmakers for similar reviews in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, states that he won in 2016 but lost in 2020.

For months, Trump has alleged, without verifiable evidence, that the election was stolen from him, which has set off a cascade of GOP-led voting restrictions at the state level that has frustrated Democrats who wrote their own election reform bills that have so far languished in Congress.

GOP Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas has come under fire for defending the push for an audit in the Lone Star State, which the former president won by nearly 6% against Biden.

None of the audits conducted so far have uncovered any instances of large-scale voting fraud.

In Florida, GOP Secretary of State Laurel Lee said that a “forensic audit” wasn’t necessary because county election officials tested machines before the election and conducted random reviews after the presidential contest.

“Florida’s election in 2020 was accurate, transparent, and conducted in compliance with Florida law,” she said in a statement about Sabatini’s bill. “Florida has already conducted both pre- and post-elections audits, and we are confident in the security and integrity of our 2020 election results.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Stephanie Grisham said she was ‘part of something unusually evil’ in the Trump White House

Stephanie Grisham
White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham watches as US President Donald Trump speaks to reporters before he boards Marine One at the White House on November 08, 2019.

  • Stephanie Grisham said a “rebrand” would be tough after her time in the Trump administration.
  • In a New York Magazine profile, the former White House press secretary opened up about her tenure in the White House.
  • “I think this will follow me forever,” she said.

Former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in an article published this week that her role in former President Donald Trump’s administration will make it difficult for her to “rebrand” and would likely stick with her “forever.”

Grisham, who was former first lady Melania Trump’s chief of staff and press secretary at the time of her resignation on Jan. 6, was the subject of a profile by New York Magazine’s Olivia Nuzzi, where the longtime GOP official said her future opportunities would be limited.

The former press secretary recently released a bombshell memoir, “I’ll Take Your Questions Now,” which chronicles her time in the often-turbulent Trump White House.

While scores of former White House press secretaries have catapulted from their high-visibility role at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to plum positions in the private sector and academia, many former Trump staffers have had difficulties in the job market, and even more so after the Capitol insurrection.

“I don’t think I can rebrand. I think this will follow me forever,” Grisham told Nuzzi of her time in the White House. “I believe that I was part of something unusually evil, and I hope that it was a one-time lesson for our country and that I can be a part of making sure that at least that evil doesn’t come back now.”

Grisham, who said in a recent CNN interview that she didn’t vote for Trump in the 2020 election, is ringing the alarm regarding another stint in the White House by the former president, which she said would be defined by “revenge.”

“He’s on his revenge tour for people who dared to vote for impeachment,” she told ABC News host George Stephanopoulos on Monday. “I want to just warn people that once he takes office, if he were to win, he doesn’t have to worry about reelection anymore. He will be about revenge.”

“He will probably have some pretty draconian policies that go on,” Grisham added. “There were conversations a lot of times that people would say, ‘That’ll be the second term.’ Meaning, we won’t have to worry about a reelection.”

In a Friday interview with Insider, Grisham said that she struggled with anxiety and had to be “deprogrammed” after her resignation from the White House in response to the Jan. 6 riot.

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, Grisham moved to a small town in Kansas and spent her final months in the administration commuting between her new home and Washington, DC. In her interview, she spoke of the pressures that came with her tenure in the Trump White House.

“I don’t want to speak for my colleagues, but I know for me, a toxic environment was normal,” she said. “I’ve tried to explain to people that when I left and went to Kansas, normal things were not normal to me. Like quiet nights with crickets chirping and stars, it gave me anxiety. And having just dinner with family and watching TV, normal things made me anxious because I had been so used to the chaos.”

While speaking with Insider, Grisham also said that she would have resigned from the White House even if her relationship with the Trumps hadn’t soured and the events of Jan. 6 had never occurred.

“I was, by that time, done,” Grisham said. “I had been done for probably six months before I resigned and had tried to resign a few times and the first lady had talked me into staying, which also contradicts her statements that I was troubled and terrible.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Trump says he’d ‘beat’ DeSantis if they faced off for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination

ron desantis donald trump
President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis hold a COVID-19 and storm preparedness roundtable in Belleair, Florida, on July 31, 2020.

  • Trump says he’d beat Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in a GOP presidential primary, per a Yahoo interview.
  • “If I faced him, I’d beat him like I would beat everyone else,” Trump told the outlet.
  • The former president has teased a 2024 bid for months, but has not yet made a firm decision.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Former President Donald Trump in an interview excerpt released on Sunday said that he if were to enter the 2024 GOP presidential primary, he would defeat Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in a potential matchup.

During an interview with Yahoo Finance that is slated to be published on Monday, the former president said that he doesn’t expect to face DeSantis – noting that most Republicans “would drop out” if he jumped into the race.

“If I faced him, I’d beat him like I would beat everyone else,” Trump told the outlet.

DeSantis, a former congressman who was narrowly elected as Florida’s governor in 2018, is up for reelection next year and has been high on GOP wish lists as a potential successor to Trump, in the event that the former president passes on a 2024 bid.

Trump, who was defeated by now-President Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election, has teased a 2024 campaign for months, but has not yet made a firm decision.

While speaking with Yahoo, the former president was confident that he would capture the nomination if he threw his hat into the ring, ticking off his loyalty among GOP voters.

“If I do run, I think that I’ll do extremely well,” he said, pointing to voter enthusiasm from conservatives.

DeSantis, an ally of Trump, told Fox News host Sean Hannity last week that he wasn’t considering a 2024 campaign because he was preoccupied with affairs in Florida, highlighting his crusade against critical race theory.

Critical race theorists have examined how America’s history of racism continue to reverberate through laws and policies that exist today.

However, DeSantis and other Republicans have targeted the discipline, alleging that its teachings divide Americans.

“I’m not considering anything beyond doing my job. We got a lot of stuff going on in Florida,” the governor said on Fox News.

He added: “We are also working on a lot of things in the state beyond the governor’s race. We got school board races. I want to make sure people are not supporting critical race theory, making sure that parents have the ability to send their kid to school the way they want to.”

A recent poll of Republicans conducted by Echelon Insights, a GOP polling firm, showed that DeSantis would lead former Vice President Mike Pence 22%-15% in a Trump-free primary, with potential contenders including Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in the single digits.

In the same poll, 30% of Republican respondents wanted to see Trump run unopposed in 2024 and 39% of party members hoped to see Trump run alongside other candidates, while 22% of GOP respondents felt that the former president should forgo a campaign.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Steve Bannon predicts ‘sweeping victory’ for MAGA movement in next elections, tells NBC GOP ‘shock troops’ need to be prepared to take over

Steve Bannon
Steve Bannon.

  • Steve Bannon said “shock troops” should be ready to take over the state when the next GOP president takes office.
  • Donald Trump’s former adviser predicted a sweeping victory for MAGA politics in the next election.
  • Bannon said that Donald Trump’s agenda had been delayed by the challenges of having to fill federal roles.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Steve Bannon said that “shock troops” need to be prepared to take over and “deconstruct” the state when the next Republican president is elected, reports say.

Bannon made the comments in a phone call to NBC News following reports that he had met with Trump political appointees on Wednesday to discuss how they could help the next Republican president.

“If you’re going to take over the administrative state and deconstruct it, then you have to have shock troops prepared to take it over immediately,” Bannon told NBC. “I gave ’em fire and brimstone.”

Bannon, who ran Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and later served as an adviser to the president, told NBC that he wants to see pre-trained teams ready to jump into federal agencies when the next Republican president takes office.

He said that Trump’s agenda was delayed by the challenges of quickly filling approximately 4,000 posts at federal agencies, NBC said.

“We’re going to have a sweeping victory in 2022, and that’s just the preamble to a sweeping victory in 2024, and this time we’re going to be ready – and have a MAGA perspective, MAGA policies, not the standard Republican policies,” Bannon told the outlet.

MAGA is a reference to Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan. Bannon described a 2024 electoral victory as a “second term” for Trump, reported NBC.

The launch party at the Capitol Hill Club on Wednesday where Bannon spoke was hosted by a new organization called the Association of Republican Presidential Appointees, NBC said.

It aims to be a resource for future GOP officials to tap into to fill federal jobs quickly, the outlet reported.

Approximately 200 former officials from various Republican administrations attended, a person at the event told NBC.

“There are so many statutes and regulations as well as agency and departmental policies. It can be very overwhelming when you first come in,” Jeffrey Scott Shapiro, one of the organizers of the group, told NBC.

“This is an organization that has a very narrow, clear, and much-needed purpose, and, once it is operational, I think it could do a lot of good not just for the Republican Party but for the country.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Mike Pence makes return trip to Iowa in advance of potential 2024 presidential bid

mike pence nh
Former Vice President Mike Pence addresses the GOP Lincoln-Reagan Dinner in Manchester, New Hampshire, on June 3, 2021.

  • Mike Pence will make a trip to the key early presidential nominating state of Iowa in November.
  • He will speak at an event at the University of Iowa hosted by Young America’s Foundation.
  • With 2024 on the minds of Republicans, Pence has been touting his experience as vice president.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Former Vice President Mike Pence will travel to Iowa in November as he looks ahead to a potential 2024 presidential campaign.

On Nov. 1, the former vice president will speak at an event at the University of Iowa hosted by the Young America’s Foundation, a conservative group devoted to instilling “ideas of individual freedom, a strong national defense, free enterprise, and traditional values” among youth.

The trip will mark Pence’s second outing since leaving office in January to what has traditionally been the first-in-the-nation state in the presidential nominating process.

In July, the former vice president spoke at the Family Leadership Summit, where he implored the group to stand up against “the agenda of the radical left” and touted his antiabortion credentials to the crowd.

“I couldn’t be more proud … to have been part of an administration that stood every day without apology for the sanctity of human life,” he said at the time. “From the very first day of our administration, we reinstated the Mexico City policy to make sure that abortions would not be funded or promoted with tax dollars around the world. … I have the privilege of being the first vice president in history to address the national March for Life on the National Mall in Washington, DC.”

Potential 2024 rivals who also spoke at the event included Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Pence, a former Indiana governor and congressman, has also made trips to the early presidential nominating states of New Hampshire and South Carolina since leaving office.

After his four-year partnership with former President Donald Trump in the White House, the former vice president has sought to strengthen his own political brand by launching Advancing American Freedom, a conservative nonprofit organization.

On Saturday, Pence will also attend a dinner in Oregon for the Washington County Republican Party, giving a speech that will focus on law enforcement, according to Politico.

Other potential 2024 Republican contenders who have traveled to early nominating states include Nikki Haley, the former US Ambassador to the United Nations, and Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas.

Former President Donald Trump, the biggest wildcard on the GOP side, has teased a potential run for months but has not yet announced his decision. He will also travel to the Buckeye State, though, holding a rally at the Iowa State Fairgrounds on Oct. 9.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Former Education secretary Betsy DeVos says the GOP movement is not ‘dependent on any one person,’ without naming Trump

Betsy Devos
US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos speaks as Vice President Mike Pence listens during a White House Coronavirus Task Force press briefing on July 8, 2020.

  • Betsy DeVos on Saturday took aim at singular figures wielding vast power in politics.
  • The former Education secretary spoke at the Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference in Michigan.
  • DeVos, a Michigan native, did not specifically mention Trump in her comments to the GOP faithful.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Former US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos on Saturday gave implicit criticism of former President Donald Trump’s hold over the GOP, expressing concern that “principles have been overtaken by personalities” in the party, according to The Detroit Free Press.

During an address at the Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference in Michigan, DeVos said that the Republican movement was not “dependent on any one person,” but did not directly mention the former president.

“Politics now are so often about people, not the policies that impact lives directly,” she added, according to the newspaper.

The comments seemingly revealed unvarnished criticism from a top member of Trump’s former administration about the pitfalls of a political party directing energies into a singular figure.

While many Democrats and even some Republicans have lamented that the former president has become the nerve center of the party, especially as it related to the 2020 presidential election and perpetuating allegations of mass voter fraud that have never materialized, DeVos chose to address the issue in front of the party faithful.

In the past, the conference has served as a platform for future Republican presidential nominees, but Trump has effectively froze the potential field of candidates by not yet revealing his plans for 2024.

DeVos embraced the role of political warrior, however, lacing into Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who is up for reelection in 2022 and has been denounced by conservatives for employing a wave of COVID-19 restrictions during the pandemic.

The former secretary said that her tenure in Washington, DC, which lasted until January, was like a dental appointment – which most people dislike but realize is necessary – adding that she “didn’t have to live under the thumb of that woman from Michigan,” a nod to the way in which Trump referred to the governor.

While speaking at Mackinac, DeVos continued to advocate for school choice and public funding for parochial schools, according to The Free Press – blasting the state’s constitutional ban on public dollars going to private schools.

“Education is about students, not systems,” she said during her speech, arguing that education funding “should be tied to students, not systems and buildings.”

The former secretary, a Wolverine State native and former Michigan Republican Party chairwoman, was a highly controversial nominee to lead the Department of Education when Trump tapped her for the role due to her lack of experience with public education.

In February 2017, after a contentious confirmation process, DeVos was confirmed by the Senate in a 51-50 vote, with then-Vice President Mike Pence breaking a 50-50 tie, as GOP Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska joined every Democrat in opposing the nomination.

It was the first time in US history that a vice president had to break a tie for a Cabinet nominee.

Read the original article on Business Insider