With just weeks to go before the Republican primary season officially kicks off, the number of GOP leaders in Washington supporting former President Donald Trump is continuing to grow.
It’s no surprise that congressmen and senators facing tough reelections next year would hitch their wagon to the former president, especially given the latest news that he leads President Joe Biden in all seven of the nation’s battleground states. But the pull of Trump’s orbit, especially among conservatives, has only grown stronger despite a splintered field that offered multiple choices for incumbents to consider.
Pulled in was U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO), who on Tuesday told POLITICO that he is offering President Trump his complete and total endorsement. His remarks build on previous ones predicting that the former president’s nomination to the general election was all but assured.
“President Trump doesn’t need to worry. I’m with him. He’s asked me several times to support him. I said yes. And I’ve been saying for a year that I think he’s gonna be the nominee. I support him. I’m gonna vote for him,” Hawley said. “Don’t worry — you can put me down as support, endorsed, stand with,” said Sen. Hawley.
President Trump offered his own advice for the freshman Republican from Missouri, suggesting both he and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) “be careful” during their reelection campaigns next year. Polls have shown voters split on Hawley’s reelection, though President Trump leads President Biden by upwards of 15 points in the state’s latest general election polling, according to Five Thirty Eight.
During the January 6th, 2021 riots at the Capitol, Sen. Hawley garnered adoration among conservatives for his fist-raising salute of protestors, a gesture that made him a target of a congressional select committee’s investigation into violence that day. He has carried the torch on a number of conservative issues that poll well among Americans, including keeping gender discussions out of elementary school and removing corporate donations from elections.
Hawley’s endorsement brings the number of U.S. senators supporting President Trump to 18 and builds on more than 80 endorsements he has received among House members. Trump has swept the endorsements in some of his rivals’ home states, as he did in Florida where Governor Ron DeSantis was largely snubbed by his Republican colleagues as they lined up to join Trump on the campaign trail or serve as his surrogate on cable news programs.