Rep. Matt Gaetz says Trump will probably run for president because he ‘wants to throw punches as a combatant, not a heckler from the stands’



Matt Gaetz

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference being held in the Hyatt Regency on February 26, 2021 in Orlando, Florida. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

  • Matt Gaetz said Trump would probably run in 2024 because he “wants to throw punches as a combatant.”

  • Politico reported that Trump’s leadership PAC was steadily laying the groundwork for a 2024 bid.

  • Gaetz added that “a good rule in politics is to be a candidate for as short a time as necessary.”

  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida thinks former President Donald Trump will run again in 2024 because he “wants to throw punches as a combatant, not a heckler from the stands,” the GOP congressman and top Trump ally told Politico.

Politico reported on Tuesday that Trump’s Save America PAC, which he formed after leaving office, was laying the groundwork for a 2024 presidential bid should Trump choose to run, including building up a staff presence in the key caucus state of Iowa and setting up a steadier stream of interviews for Trump.

Several Trump allies, such as Jason Miller, his former top advisor and spokesman, and GOP Reps. Ronny Jackson and Jim Jordan, have said they believe Trump will most definitely run again in 2024.

Gaetz told Politico that Trump had more flexibility than other prospective candidates in when he could announce because “the base is rightly loyal to him.”

“And a good rule in politics is to be a candidate for as short a time as necessary,” he added.

While the PAC can’t officially raise funds for a 2024 run yet (or coordinate with the Trump campaign if he does run), its structure as a leadership PAC gives Trump lots of flexibility to raise and spend funds for political purposes – and wield significant influence over other prospective 2024 candidates, who’d have to carefully advance their campaigns without drawing Trump’s ire.

The PAC, flush with cash, is also throwing a lifeline to the Trump Organization by renting a nearly $40,000-a-month office space in Trump Tower, which has lost several high-paying tenants during the COVID-19 pandemic, The Washington Post reported last week.

People close to Trump told Politico that the US’s at times chaotic exit from its military mission in Afghanistan, fulfilling a withdrawal agreement the Trump administration negotiated with the Taliban in early 2020, had reignited Trump’s desire to take on President Joe Biden.

“You would think his [Trump’s] attitude would be, ‘I told you so.’ But instead, he is angry because he believes rightly or wrongly that the election was stolen from him and that all that has happened under Biden could have been avoided,” Tony Fabrizio, Trump’s longtime pollster, told Politico, adding that Trump was keeping a close eye on Biden.

Still, Politico’s sources cautioned that no final decision had been made and that if Trump were to announce a presidential bid, it likely wouldn’t be until after the 2022 midterm elections.

“President Trump doesn’t do misdirection, he wears it on his sleeve,” Miller, the former spokesman, told the outlet.

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