(The Hill) – Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) says former President Donald Trump will face a lot of competition in a Republican primary if he runs for president in 2024.
McConnell, who usually avoids commenting on the former president, predicted that the 2024 Republican primary won’t be a cakewalk for Trump if he runs again.
“I think we’re going to have a crowded field for president. I assume most of that will unfold later and people will be picking their candidates in a crowded primary field,” he told reporters when asked whether he would oppose Trump or stay neutral in the 2024 Senate Republican primary.
The relationship between Trump and McConnell has been strained since McConnell recognized that Joe Biden was elected president by a vote of the Electoral College in December 2020.
Trump routinely attacks McConnell, often using the nickname “Old Crow” and disparaging his leadership of the Senate Republican Conference.
Speculation has mounted in recent weeks that Trump will announce his campaign for president this summer or in the early fall to freeze support for potential rivals, such as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).
Trump said recently that he has already made a decision about whether to launch another run for president and now is weighing only whether to announce his decision before or after the midterm election on Nov. 8.
“I feel very confident that if I decide to run, I’ll win,” he told New York Magazine. “Well, in my own mind, I’ve already made that decision, so nothing factors in anymore.”
Talk of Trump launching an early presidential bid has grown as polls have shown his support dipping among Republicans in the midst of a barrage of damaging revelations from the public hearings of the House Jan. 6 select committee, which has examined Trump’s role in inciting the 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
The latest example of Trump’s waning support among Republican voters came in Michigan, where a Glengariff Group poll conducted from July 13 to July 15 found that Trump’s favorable rating among Republican voters was 8 points lower than it was in May.
Former Vice President Mike Pence, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas), former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Sen. Tim Scott (S.C.) are viewed as potential Republican candidates for president in 2024.