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Republicans Have Divided Opinion on Trump’s New Campaign

Former President Donald Trump held talks with the powerful Republican Jewish Coalition on Saturday. It comes days after he was announced as the GOP front-runner in the 2024 presidential race.

But the ballroom at the Venetian Resort Hotel in Las Vegas has embraced its rivals as some of the party’s most powerful contributors, seen to replace rival former presidents. It included Governor Ron DeSantis, his main rival. 

Trump still has a “following” within the party. Florida real estate developer and GOP donor Mel Sembler said so in an interview with CNN last week.

However, he stated, “I think people are getting tired of his controversies all the time.” 

“What concerns me is if he wins the primary and loses the general,” Sembler added. The developer has yet to endorse a 2024 runner. 

The annual leadership conference by influential Jewish conservatives is considered the first major GOP gathering. This comes after a mid-month disappointment for the party, which also maintains a majority in the Senate.

Republicans have a chance in the House. But after the “red wave” her party had envisioned for the whole year didn’t materialize, the party won a slight majority in January.

Washington’s prominent Republican figures blame Trump for his influence in amplifying far-right Senate candidates who stumbled in the general election. Furthermore, they believe he continues to publicly endorse his grudges about the 2020 election and his legal difficulties. 

Last Tuesday, at the start of his campaign, he referred to himself as a “victim” of a federal law imposition system that he has attempted to politicize. 

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Legal Challenges

Trump’s legal troubles appeared to worsen further when Attorney General Merrick Garland formed a special council to handle the criminal investigation. This is in response to the retention of national defense information at his Mar-a-Largo resort and the January 6, 2021 insurrection. 

Instead of unity from the party on his third presidential run, Trump received a setback. Not long following his announcement, daughter and former senior White House adviser, Ivanka Trump detached herself from her father’s campaign. 

She said she does “not plan to be involved in politics.” 

Possibly the most enormous hit to Trump’s campaign structure was the rapid and public desertion of multiple billionaire GOP donors. It includes a dear ally, Steve Schwarzman, CEO of Blackstone. 

Schwarzman stated that the country required leaders “rooted in today and tomorrow, not today and yesterday.” 

Others are edging on their odds. 

Read also: Biden and Trump Campaigns for Parties, Democrats vs. Republicans

Republicans Split

One of those hedging their bets is Miriam Adelson – billionaire widow of Las Vegas casino tycoon and RJC benefactor Sheldon Adelson. 

Notably, the Adelsons gave away almost half a billion dollars to Republican groups and candidates during the past four elections. It also includes tens of millions to swell Trump’s presidential bids. 

In 2018, Trump gave the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Miriam Adelson, referencing her philanthropic works. The award is the country’s highest civilian honor. 

Even though they had history, Adelson wants to be neutral in the GOP presidential primaries, a source shared with CNN last week. 

According to RJC exec director Matt Brooks, Trump bagged approvals from coalition members for his support of Israel during his time as president. Furthermore, they cited his unilateral withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement in 2015. 

Brooks said: “People are window-shopping right now. There are people who are asking if we need a new direction and a new face.”