Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) has called upon the Republican donor class to start pressuring low-polling GOP candidates into dropping out of the 2024 presidential race to defeat Trump.
Romney issued his call in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published Monday. He said that the donor class needs to pressure candidates with no path to drop out by February of next year at the very latest.
“Despite Donald Trump’s apparent inevitability, a baker’s dozen Republicans are hoping to become the party’s 2024 nominee for president,” he wrote. “That is possible for any of them if the field narrows to a two-person race before Mr. Trump has the nomination sewn up.”
“For that to happen, Republican megadonors and influencers—large and small—are going to have to do something they didn’t do in 2016: get candidates they support to agree to withdraw if and when their paths to the nomination are effectively closed,” he added.
Romney said that such candidates will not drop out on their own due to the financial incentives as well as the increased exposure.
“There are incentives for no-hope candidates to overstay their prospects. Coming in behind first place may grease another run in four years or have market value of its own: Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum got paying gigs,” he said.
“And as former New Hampshire Gov. John H. Sununu has observed, ‘It is fun running for president if you know you cannot win,’” he continued. “Left to their own inclinations, expect several of the contenders to stay in the race for a long time. They will split the non-Trump vote, giving him the prize. A plurality is all that is needed for winner-take-all primaries.”
Romney further cautioned donors against believing in GOP leaders or campaign staff or campaign consultants.
“Donors may think that party leaders can narrow the field. Not so. Candidates don’t listen to party officials, because voters don’t listen to them either,” he wrote. “And the last people who would ever encourage a candidate to withdraw are the campaign staff and consultants who want to keep their jobs for as long as possible.”
The current polls show former President Donald Trump in the lead over his opponents, with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as his strongest competitor. Other candidates, such as Nikki Haley, Chris Christie, and Tim Scott, have been polling in the low single digits. Those numbers may be subject to change in the first presidential debate set to kick off next month.
Paul Roland Bois joined Breitbart News in 2021. He also directed the award-winning feature film, EXEMPLUM, which can be viewed for FREE on YouTube or Tubi. A high-quality, ad-free stream can also be purchased on Google Play or Vimeo on Demand. Follow him on Twitter @prolandfilms or Instagram @prolandfilms.