Sen. Josh Hawley says he’d back Trump in a 2024 GOP primary: ‘I can’t imagine I wouldn’t’ – Fox News

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AVENTURA, FLA. – Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., said he would support former President Trump in a hypothetical GOP primary in 2024.

Hawley, who spoke at the National Conservatism conference this week in Aventura, Fla., was asked whether Republicans should rally behind the former president if he decides to seek a return to the White House or whether he should face off in a primary like he did in 2016. 

Hawley said that would be “up to voters.”

“I have to tell you, I think he’ll be the nominee. I think he will run,” Hawley told Fox News Digital in an interview on Monday. “I’d be shocked if he didn’t run. And I think he’ll be the nominee. I don’t think they’ll be much of a primary contest. I could be wrong about that, and I think this is a decision for GOP voters to make, but I’d just be shocked at this point if he weren’t the nominee.”

When asked if he would back Trump, Hawley replied, “Oh, I’d imagine so. I can’t imagine I wouldn’t.”

SEN. MARCO RUBIO SUGGESTS TRUMP SHOULD COMPETE IN GOP PRIMARY IF FORMER POTUS RUNS IN 2024

Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., speaks at the National Conservatism conference in Aventura, Florida on September 12, 2022. 

Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., speaks at the National Conservatism conference in Aventura, Florida on September 12, 2022.  (Joseph A. Wulfsohn/Fox News Digital)

This strikes a different tone from Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who refrained from offering his support for Trump when asked if he’d back the former president in a hypothetical GOP primary. 

“I’m not going to begin to speculate about races that don’t exist,” Rubio told Fox News Digital on Monday. “I mean, I just don’t answer hypotheticals anymore because the world changes too much, it’s too dynamic out there. And you know, we’ll deal with 2024, we’re not even done with 22 yet.”

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Rubio did, however, suggest that Trump shouldn’t be afraid of competing against other Republicans for the nomination. 

“I think his view of it should be what mine is and that is none of us own these positions,” Rubio said. “We have to go out every six years in the Senate, every four years if you’re president, and win the support of people and earn it. So I think that’s true in the Republican primary.”

“I don’t know why- I’ve never been scared of primaries and what they maybe produce. I trust the judgment and the common-sense wisdom of people a lot more than I do the common-sense wisdom and judgment of the commentator class and the political insider class,” Rubio continued.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., speaks at the National Conservatism conference in Aventura, Florida on September 12, 2022. 

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., speaks at the National Conservatism conference in Aventura, Florida on September 12, 2022.  (Joseph A. Wulfsohn/Fox News Digital)

Rubio, who also spoke at the National Conservatism conference, clarified he doesn’t know whether there will even be a GOP primary, which is based on if other Republicans throw their hat in the ring against Trump, but added they’re “certainly entitled to run if they want to” and “prove me wrong on the outcome,” which is ultimately decided by the voters. 

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Rubio was among the 17 Republicans who vied for the presidential nomination in 2016. He is currently running for re-election in the November midterms, facing off against Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla.

Trump is still in strong standing among GOP voters. Last month, he earned a whopping 69% support in the CPAC Dallas straw poll. Coming in second place was Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis with 24% support. All other Republicans polled in the single digits. 

Former President Donald J. Trump at a rally on May 28, 2022 in Casper, Wyoming.  (Photo by Chet Strange/Getty Images) 

Former President Donald J. Trump at a rally on May 28, 2022 in Casper, Wyoming.  (Photo by Chet Strange/Getty Images)  (Chet Strange/Getty Images)

In a hypothetical primary without Trump, DeSantis topped the straw poll with 65%. Placing second was Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., with 8% backing, followed by Cruz with 6% and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo with 5%. No one else topped 2% on the second ballot question.

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Trump has repeatedly hinted at another bid for the White House in 2024.

Source URL: https://www.foxnews.com/media/sen-josh-hawley-back-trump-2024-gop-primary-cant-imagine-wouldnt

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