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President Trump is in the hospital with coronavirus. We know that much. But there are lots of unknowns about his condition, and his medical team isn’t filling in the gaps.

On the Republican side, former Rep. Ryan Costello will look seriously at running, according to a person familiar with his thinking. Rep. Mike Kelly is also considered a potential candidate. Jeff Bartos, a real estate developer and former candidate for lieutenant governor, said in a statement he would be having conversations with family in the coming weeks and would have more to say about a potential run after the election.

Former Rep. Charlie Dent, a moderate Republican and vocal Trump critic, is taking a look at the opening, according to a person familiar with his thinking. Former GOP Rep. Lou Barletta, who lost the 2018 race for Senate, said he would make a decision after the election.

State Sen. Mike Regan, state Rep. Martina White and Chester County Commissioner Michelle Kichline could also be potential candidates, according to one GOP operative.

During his 16 years in Congress so far — six in the House, 10 in the Senate — Toomey has forged a reputation as a low-key conservative who focuses more on tax and spending issues rather than social conservative hot-button topics. He currently serves on the Finance, Budget and Banking committees. A Harvard graduate, Toomey served a key role on the 2011 “supercommittee” that tried to forge a bipartisan long-term spending panel, although the panel failed to reach consensus.

Toomey is a loyal vote for McConnell and Trump on most issues, although it’s clear that some of Trump’s behavior while in office has upset the cautious Pennsylvania Republican, who waited until Election Day in 2016 to announce that he was voting for his party’s presidential nominee.

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For instance, Toomey criticized Trump’s decision to commute Republican operative Roger Stone’s criminal conviction, calling it “a mistake.” Trump responded by branding Toomey “a RINO,” meaning “Republican in Name Only.” Toomey opposed Trump’s decision to declare a “national emergency” at the U.S.-Mexico border in order divert funds to a border wall. Toomey also said Trump was wrong to raise former Vice President Joe Biden during a 2019 call with Ukrainian leaders, though he voted to acquit Trump on impeachment charges related to that episode. And Toomey opposed some of the spending deals agreed to by the Trump administration, arguing they increase the deficit.

Yet Toomey supported Trump’s 2017 tax-cut package, despite the fact that it increased U.S. debt by trillions of dollars. And he’s backed Trump’s judicial nominees, including Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Charlie Gerow, a Pennsylvania-based GOP strategist, said Toomey’s retirement decision “puts in motion a large number of variables.”

“There will be a number of candidacies announced both shortly and further down the road,” Gerow said. “I think you’re going to have half the legislature and people from the business world and people from academia and maybe even the media announcing their candidacies.”

Burgess Everett, Andrew Desiderio, Jake Sherman and Alex Thompson contributed to this article.


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Donald Trump

GOP Senator: Trump’s Not Going to be 2024 Republican Nominee

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Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) urged his fellow Republicans to move past former President Donald Trump on Sunday, predicting that due to the damage Trump has done to the GOP, he likely won’t be the party’s presidential nominee in 2024.

Hours before Trump was set to deliver his first post-White House speech at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference, Cassidy appeared on CNN’s State of the Union to discuss the current state of the Republican Party and Trump’s place in it.

The Louisiana lawmaker, who was one of seven GOP senators to vote to convict Trump during the ex-president’s second impeachment trial earlier this month, called on the GOP to make issues and policy front and center in the coming elections.

“We’ve got to win in two years, we’ve got to win in four years,” Cassidy told host Dana Bash. “If we do that, we’ll do that by speaking to those issues important to the American people, and there’s a lot of issues important to them right now, not by putting one person on a pedestal and making that one person our focal point.”

Bash, meanwhile, noted that Trump’s influence on the party is not diminishing, despite his impeachment for allegedly inciting an insurrectionist riot at the U.S. Capitol. Pointing out that Trump’s face was literally “embronzed” at CPAC and top Republicans are flying down to meet the former president, the CNN host asked how the GOP can move forward with Trump still in the spotlight.

“CPAC is not the entirety of the Republican Party,” he replied. “That’s number one. Number two, political organizations and campaigns are about winning. Over the last four years, we lost the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the presidency. That has not happened in a single four years under a president since Herbert Hoover. If we plan to win in 2022 and 2024, we have to listen to the voters.”

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Asked whether he was personally faulting Trump for the GOP losing control of Congress, Cassidy demurred somewhat, insisting again that Republicans need to speak to policy solutions. At the same time, he did say that if they “idolize one person, we will lose.”

Noting that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell—who was highly critical of Trump’s role in the insurrection—has come out and said he will back Trump if he runs in 2024, Bash then pressed Cassidy on whether he feels Trump is fit to be president again.

“I don’t think—one, he’ll be 78 years old—but I don’t think he’ll be our nominee for the reasons I’ve said,” Cassidy responded. “Over the last four years, we’ve lost the House, the Senate, and the presidency. Political campaigns are about winning.”

“That’s a theoretical that I don’t think will come to pass,” he concluded. “I don’t mean to duck, but the truth is you could ask me [about] a lot of people, if they are fit. Point is, I don’t think he’ll be our nominee.”
(Fox News

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New Republican group promises to have ‘Trump shaking in his boots’ over his future

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Appearing on MSNBC early Sunday morning, a former member of Donald Trump’s administration teased the announcement of a newly formed group of Republicans and ex-Republicans whose goal is to make sure that the ex-president will never be a viable candidate for office again.

Speaking with hosts Kendis Gibson and Lindsey Reiser, former Homeland Security official Miles Taylor noted the current CPAC conference in Florida where the president is expected to get hero’s welcome from the far-right attendees and said it is important that traditional Republicans push back on Trump’s re-entry into the public square after losing re-election in November.

“I want to give you a number: 50 percent,” Taylor began. “Donald Trump can’t get to 50 percent. We just saw this in the most recent election, he cannot win elections. We’ve got to be able to, in the Republican Party, have someone who is a standard-bearer that can get us over 50 percent to win elections. He can’t, he lost in spectacular fashion in this election and that’s why I think it’s entirely inappropriate for us to continue to put him forward as the leader of this party. it’s a mistake that’s going the cause the GOP to lose elections in the future and it’s time to move on from Donald Trump.”

Pressed on his future plans to oppose Trump, Taylor first said, “There are a lot of people in the party ready to move beyond Donald Trump. In fact, most of us realize he is much better at golfing than governing which is really saying a lot if you know anything about Donald Trump’s golf game,” before adding, “Donald Trump lost, not because more Democrats came out. Donald Trump lost because his own voters defected from him.”

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“I’m happy to share with you today a little bit of a tease,” he added. ” I can’t give you all the information, but we’re about to make an announcement in the very near future that’s going to make Donald Trump have the worst heartburn he’s had in the post-presidency. We’re going to be channeling this movement to challenge him to create an insurgency within and without the GOP to drive forward towards a better center-right political movement than Donald Trump can put together. It’s something he’s going to have to contend with.”

Pressed for more details he added, “You’re aware of the fact that we’ve been having conversations with very prominent people in the GOP and ex-Republicans about where we go beyond Trump, how do we move beyond Trump. You’re going to hear from us in the month of March about what’s coming next.”

“What’s coming next is going to make Donald Trump fear for his ability to continue to be a standard-bearer of this party,” he continued. “We are going to channel this movement, rally people together in the center, bring the Republican Party back from crazy to rational as best we can, and Trump should be shaking in his boots.”
(Raw Story)

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CPAC designed as a Trump coronation, former head of American Conservative Union says

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The former head of the organization that oversees CPAC on Sunday called this year’s ongoing event a coronation of Donald Trump.

Calling him “the great whiner.” Al Cardenas said on MSNBC of Trump: “He’s going to continue to make sure people understand that he is the de facto leader of the Republican Party, and those that don’t follow his path will have to pay for it.”

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Cardenas was the head of the American Conservative Union from 2011 to 2014. The organization runs the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, which began in 1974 with Ronald Reagan as its first keynote speaker. Cardenas was succeeded by Matt Schlapp, who remains the organization’s president.


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