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Tom Cotton tells big donors Donald Trump candidacy won’t keep him from running for president
- During a gathering with two dozen of his top donors in Washington, D.C., Cotton detailed the groundwork he’s laid for a national campaign
- Cotton told the group that he would not defer to any other potential candidates, even Trump
- He said he plans to decide whether or not he’ll run after the midterm elections
- Cotton’s name has not been tossed around as a potential contender nearly as much as candidates with nationwide recognition, most notably Ron DeSantis
- But Cotton said he has already established connections in Iowa and New Hampshire to caucus
Sen. Tom Cotton is readying a potential presidential run in 2024 and is not afraid of facing off against former President Trump, the Arkansas Republican reportedly told a gathering of donors on Tuesday.
During a gathering with two dozen of his top donors at the Hay-Adams hotel in Washington, D.C., Cotton detailed the groundwork he’s laid for a national campaign, two attendees told Politico.
Not wanting to commit to challenging a former president, most potential 2024 contenders have so far been stuck in limbo waiting on Trump to say one way or another on whether he’ll run, but not Cotton – he told the group that he would not defer to any other potential candidates, even Trump. Cotton said that he planned to make a final decision on whether to run after the midterm elections.
Cotton’s name has not been tossed around as a potential contender nearly as much as candidates with nationwide recognition, most notably Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
But Brian Colas, in a 15-slide powerpoint presentation, reportedly made the case for why Cotton could have a shot at winning.
Colas said that he, Cotton and other advisors had studied past Republican presidential campaigns and found that early national recognition had little bearing on the success of candidates. Performance in Iowa and New Hampshire, the states with the first two nominating contests, was far more important, according to Colas.
He said that because Cotton had run unopposed in 2020, he was able to start developing donors and making outreach with activists in the first two states to caucus, having traveled to Iowa six times and New Hampshire four since 2020.
Cotton meanwhile made the case that he had won the favor of both the populist and establishment wings of the party. He noted that he had $8 million in his war chest for the Senate campaign that could be transferred over to a presidential run, enough to push him through the early stages.
Cotton has managed to stay in Trump’s good graces despite breaking with the president on a few occasions – he voted to certify the 2020 election, and he called Trump’s criminal justice reform bill, the First Step act, the ‘worst mistake’ of his administration.
Sen. Tom Cotton is readying a potential presidential run in 2024 and is not afraid of facing off against former President Trump, the Arkansas Republican reportedly told a gathering of donors on Tuesday
Cotton told the group that he would not defer to any other potential candidates, even Donald Trump
As the months before November whittle away, potential 2024 contenders have been teaming up with wealthy donors to launch straight into the following race once midterms are settled.
DeSantis has been traveling across the nation to secure donations for his 2022 reelection bid, drawing in another $10.2 million in May to bring the total raised for his reelection bid to $124 million.
DeSantis beat Trump in a recent straw poll asking conservatives who they’d like to see at the top of the ticket in 2024.
The poll was taken at the Western Conservative Summit earlier this month where 1,114 attendees were asked to check off as many candidates as they’d like to see run in 2024 from a list of top potentials.
Cotton said that he planned to make a final decision on whether to run after the midterm elections
DeSantis, 43, was checked off by 71.0 percent of respondents, Trump by 67.8, and Sen. Ted Cruz in third by 28.7 percent. DeSantis also won the straw poll last year.
Dr. Ben Carson, Trump’s Housing and Urban Development secretary, came in fourth with 24.1 percent, leading over Sarah Huckabee Sanders at 18.4 percent, Sen. Tim Scott at 17.4 percent, Mike Pompeo at 16.7 and Donald Trump Jr. 16.2. Trailing Trump Jr. were Nikki Haley at 15.5 and Mike Pence at 14.3. Cotton was not included in the poll.
DeSantis’ rising star within GOP ranks is said to have rattled the former president so much that he is now looking at various ways to unsettle any plans the Florida governor may have for a presidential bid of his own. Plans could include Trump launching his 2024 from the Sunshine State and hosting a massive party close to the governor’s mansion, according to Rolling Stone.