A well-known political network that focuses on limited government says it’s time to look ahead to the future for Republican presidential candidates for 2024, and they say that future doesn’t include former President Donald Trump.
A spokesperson for Americans for Prosperity Action Committee told Carolina Journal in an emailed statement that it intends to get involved in the GOP presidential primary after staying out the last two cycles and anticipates supporting and deploying its resources and unmatched grassroots network in support of a candidate other than Donald Trump.
Comments from a memo from Emily Seidel, chief executive of the non-profit group Americans for Prosperity, which is part of the network founded by billionaire industrialist brothers Charles and the late David Koch, indicated that Trump is a part of the past.
“To write a new chapter for our country, we need to turn the page on the past,” she said. “So, the best thing for the country would be to have a president in 2025 who represents a new chapter. The American people have shown that they’re ready to move on, and so AFP will help them do that.”
She said they are ready to support a new candidate who can lead the country forward and win the election.
Trump has been known to have had disagreements with Koch officials, who criticized things like his trade policies.
In the memo, Seidel said broken politics today are producing a toxic situation in Washington, D.C. making it impossible to see the kind of progress on public policy at the federal level that Americans need and that the country is in a downward spiral.
“The Republican Party is nominating bad candidates who are advocating for things that go against core American principles, and the American people are rejecting them,” said Seidel. “The Democratic Party increasingly sees this as a political opportunity. And they’re responding with more and more extreme policies – policies that also go against our core American principles.”
Trump-backed candidates, including Dr. Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania, Blake Masters in Arizona, Herschel Walker in Georgia, and Bo Hines, who lost to Wiley Nickel in the race for NC-13, had overwhelming losses in the November 2022 General Election.
Still, other Trump-backed candidates, like Ted Budd, who beat Cheri Beasley to become North Carolina’s next U.S. senator, did win their races.
Seidel said many people are frustrated over the current political situation in the country, but very few are in a position to help, unlike AFP, which is.
They, along with AFP Action, plan on getting involved in elections earlier and in more primaries to help find better candidates.
“AFP and AFP Action engaged in 22 primaries at the federal level and nearly 200 more in the states,” Seidel states. “This was more than in any previous year. We won more than 80% of those races – and when we engaged in the primary, our candidate was much more likely to win the general than when we didn’t.”
She said it was a test for whether their grassroots and data capabilities could significantly impact primaries, and they learned that they could.
One important point the spokesperson told CJ and Seidel said in her memo is that people need to become more involved in primaries because as long as a small group of voters only votes in them, changes that the country needs to see won’t happen.
Those mentioning a run for the presidency in 2024, including former Vice-President Mike Pence, have ties to the Koch network.