On Thursday, former President Donald Trump endorsed GOP Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul for reelection, affirming his support for the longtime senator ahead of the 2022 midterms and said that the Republican “has done a fantastic job for our Country, and for the incredible people of Kentucky.”
“Rand Paul has done a fantastic job for our Country, and for the incredible people of Kentucky,” former President Trump said in a statement showing his support for the longtime senator, well ahead of next year’s midterm elections.
“He fights against the Swamp in Washington, the Radical Left Liberals, and especially the destructive RINOS, of which there are far too many, in Congress,” Trump said in his statement. “Rand will continue to stand up for our great AMERICA FIRST policies because he believes in stopping wasteful spending, defending our Second Amendment rights, and taking care of our Military and our Vets. I am proud to be working with Rand in our battle to Make America Great Again.
“He has my Complete and Total Endorsement for another term in the U.S. Senate. The Commonwealth of Kentucky has a true champion in Rand Paul.”
Though he has yet to formally announce a run, Paul has indicated that he plans to seek reelection. He has served in the Senate since 2011.
Trump and Paul are former political rivals, clashing repeatedly when they were both candidates for the GOP’s presidential nomination in 2016. But Paul later became one of Trump’s allies.
Paul spoke on Trump’s behalf at the 2020 Republican National Convention last summer, telling supporters that he was “proud” of the administration’s accomplishments. He praised the former president for moving to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan and warned President Biden “will choose war again.”
In January, Paul led GOP senators in a failed effort to declare impeachment proceedings against Trump for his alleged role in the Capitol riot. The Kentucky senator described the impeachment as a “sham” and accused Democrats of pursuing the trial as a means of political retribution against Trump.
The former President’s endorsement of Senator Paul came after he also urged Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin to run for reelection on the same day.
“He is brave, he is bold, he loves our Country, our Military, and our Vets. He will protect our Second Amendment, and everything else we stand for. It is the kind of courage we need in the U.S. Senate. He has no idea how popular he is,” Trump said in a statement Thursday. “Run, Ron, Run!”
Trump’s urging comes as Johnson publicly says he’s undecided on whether he will run next year. The Wisconsin Republican said in March that retiring after the end of his second term is “probably my preference now.”
“That pledge is on my mind. It was my preference then; I would say it’s probably my preference now,” Johnson said, referring to his earlier two-term vow. “I’m happy to go home.”
However, Johnson has also added a caveat when speaking about his pledge to only serve a total of 12 years in the Senate, noting the promise was made when Democrats did not hold full control of Washington.
The Wisconsin Senate race is a cornerstone of both parties’ strategies to control the next Senate. The chamber is currently split 50-50, with Democrats holding a majority due only to Vice President Harris’s tie-breaking vote.
The Badger State has asserted itself as a top battleground in recent cycles, with Trump winning it narrowly in 2016 by under 1 percentage point while Johnson won reelection by about 3 points. However, President Biden won Wisconsin last year by just over 20,000 votes.
Over a slate of divisive comments, Johnson has emerged as a controversial figure in the Senate including in January when he said that he did not feel unsafe during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot but might have felt the opposite if Black Lives Matter protesters or far-left antifa activists had demonstrated there.
Some of the Democrats including Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson, Milwaukee Bucks executive Alex Lasry and Marshfield radiologist Gillian Battino. State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski (D) and Rep. Ron Kind (D) have already jumped into the 2022 Wisconsin Senate race and are also considering bids.
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