House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik on Friday endorsed Donald Trump for a 2024 White House run — becoming the first member of the GOP leadership to publicly take sides in a simmering feud on whether the party should ditch the polarizing ex-president.
“I am proud to endorse Donald J. Trump for President in 2024. I fully support him running again,” Stefanik, of New York, said in a statement to The Post.
“Under his presidency, America was strong at home and abroad, our economy was red hot, our border was secure, our neighborhoods were safe, our law enforcement was respected, and our enemies feared us.”
The upstate congresswoman said the US cannot afford another four years of “failed policies that have led to the inflation crisis, border crisis, and crime crisis” under President Biden, who will turn 80 on Nov. 20.
The 76-year-old Trump’s potential 2024 rival, Ron DeSantis, 44, cruised to a double-digit re-election win as Florida governor Tuesday and is being looked at as the future of the party.
But even some Trump loyalists and former top staffers have been advising the ex-president to hold off on announcing any bid for 2024 until after the crucial runoff election in Georgia on Dec. 6, which could decide the balance of power in the Senate. Trump has said he will make a major announcement on Tuesday from Mar-a-Lago, and it is expected he will launch his 2024 bid then.
“I’ll be advising him that he move his announcement until after the Georgia runoff,” former Trump adviser Jason Miller told the Associated Press. “Georgia needs to be the focus of every Republican in the country right now.”
Trump has come under withering criticism for his role in the midterm campaign after Republican expectations for crushing victories in the House fell short and control of the Senate remained up in the air as of Thursday morning.
However, Stefanik, who has been a staunch Trump loyalist and who has risen rapidly in the GOP thanks to his support, countered that the 45th president is being unfairly blamed for Republicans not winning more seats during the midterm elections, including losses of Trump-backed candidates in Pennsylvania.
“Republican voters determine who is the leader of the Republican Party and it’s very clear President Trump is the leader of the Republican Party. What the media fails to report is that we just won the midterms and flipped the House,” she said.
“It is time for Republicans to unite around the most popular Republican in America, who has a proven track record of conservative governance. Poll after poll shows that President Trump would defeat any Republican challenger by massive margins, and would beat Joe Biden if the election were held today.
She said Trump has always “put America First, and I look forward to supporting him so we can Save America.”
Another Trump run for the White House has divided the GOP, even in his home state of New York.