According to The Hill, former President Donald Trump has ramped up his 2024 campaigning this week by going on the offensive against several of his potential Republican rivals.
Trump did so during an appearance Thursday on Hugh Hewitt's radio program.
The first potential GOP rival that Trump addressed on Thursday is Nikki Haley, the former United Nations ambassador of the Trump administration.
Recent reporting has indicated that Haley will announce her 2024 candidacy for the U.S. presidency at some point this month - likely Feb. 15. Trump was asked by Hewitt to respond to this.
"Well, she called me and she asked me about it, and I told her she should follow her heart," Trump said. "You know, she said numerous times, I put it up, actually, that I would never run if our president runs. He was a great president, et cetera, et cetera. She said that numerous times."
"But she’s a very ambitious person," Trump continued. "She just couldn’t stay in her seat. And, I said, you know what, Nikki, if you want to run, you go ahead and run."
Trump in recent days has reiterated these points on his social media site, Truth Social. In one post, he included a video of Haley telling reporters that she would not run for the presidency if Trump did.
Trump, during the interview, went on to comment upon several other potential 2024 GOP rivals, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R), former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and former vice president Mike Pence.
Trump, in general, seemed to take issue with the fact that these individuals would pursue the presidency despite the fact that he has significantly helped their political careers. Trump implied that this looks a lot like disloyalty.
When Hewitt asked, "is it your position they should not run against you if you’ve helped them," Trump replied, "Yeah, I would say that, but I know how life works, and I know how politics works, and politics is a microcosm, but even more vicious of life."
Trump went on to state that, in his opinion, these individuals are running "because they're ambitious people."
Trump, during the interview, made the point that he is "way ahead in the polls" of his potential GOP rivals.
I’m way ahead in the polls. Ron DeSantis is way behind me. Every once in a while, Fox will put up a phony poll, because Fox is not Fox of old. That, I can tell you. I’m sure you know that, too. But Fox will put up a fake poll, but I’m way ahead in New Hampshire. I’m way ahead in South Carolina. I’m way ahead in Iowa, and I’m way ahead in the country.
Not all polls have Trump in the lead, but many do. The bottom line, though, is that a blockbuster showdown is shaping up within the Republican Party ahead of 2024.