As the 2024 Republican presidential hopefuls prepare to attend a donor retreat in Texas this week, the elephant in the room is the absence of Donald Trump. While the former president has yet to officially declare his candidacy, his presence looms large in the minds of many of the potential candidates, who will be vying for the support of the same donors and constituencies that propelled Trump to the White House in 2016.
The retreat, organized by the Republican National Committee (RNC), will feature a number of potential contenders, including former Vice President Mike Pence, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
The event will be a test for the candidates, as they attempt to differentiate themselves from the Trump era and make their case to the RNC donor base. It will be an opportunity for the candidates to demonstrate their commitment to the Republican platform and to the conservative values that have been the hallmark of the Republican Party for decades.
The retreat is also an opportunity for the candidates to present their visions for the future of the party and to address the challenges facing the nation. While Trump’s name may not be on the list of attendees, his influence will be felt in the room as the candidates attempt to appeal to the same base of supporters that propelled him to the White House.
The Trump White House administration was marked by a number of accomplishments, including the passage of historic tax cuts, a new trade deal with Mexico and Canada, a strong economy, and the appointment of two conservative justices to the Supreme Court. The Trump administration also rolled back a number of Obama-era regulations, including the Clean Power Plan and the Waters of the United States rule, and implemented a hard-line immigration policy. The Trump administration also worked to strengthen the US-Israel relationship and promote a pro-growth agenda.