Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) has preemptively endorsed former President Trump for another White House bid ahead of his scheduled “special announcement” at Mar-a-Lago on Tuesday.
“I am proud to endorse Donald J. Trump for President in 2024. I fully support him running again,” Stefanik said in a statement to Breitbart News. “Under his presidency, America was strong at home and abroad, our economy was red hot, our border was secure, our neighborhoods were safe, our law enforcement was respected, and our enemies feared us.”
“We cannot afford another four years of Joe Biden’s failed policies that have led to the inflation crisis, border crisis, and crime crisis. It is time for Republicans to unite around the most popular Republican in America, who has a proven track record of conservative governance,” Stefanik said.
Stefanik is currently the chair of the House Republican Conference, the No. 3 position in the House GOP. She is running for reelection to that post, which would be the No. 4 position if Republicans win a majority in the chamber.
Trump endorsed Stefanik for another term as Conference Chair this week ahead of the midterm elections.
“I think she’s fantastic,” he told Fox News.
Her full-throated support of Trump comes as many in the Republican Party are growing more vocal about wanting Trump to step back from politics after the midterm elections fell well short of Republican expectations of a red wave.
Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), who is retiring from Congress, said on CNN that Trump’s inserting himself into primaries “changed the nature of the race and that created just too much of an obstacle.” Former Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said that Trump is “a drag on our ticket” and “gives us problems politically.”
Stefanik, though, asserted that “it’s very clear President Trump is the leader of the Republican party.”
“It is time for Republicans to unite around the most popular Republican in America, who has a proven track record of conservative governance. Poll after poll shows that President Trump would defeat any Republican challenger by massive margins, and would beat Joe Biden if the election were held today,” she said.
When Stefanik entered Congress in 2015 — then the youngest woman ever elected to the House — she had a notably moderate tone and voting record. Heritage Action, the advocacy arm of the influential conservative think tank, gave her just a 29 percent score on her first congressional session.
But as Trump rose to power, she embraced him. She was on Trump’s defense team during his first impeachment in 2019, drastically raising her profile and putting her in good graces with the then-president.
After Rep. Liz Cheney (N.Y.) was ousted from the GOP Conference chair position by House Republicans in 2021 for continuing to criticize Trump after the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, Stefanik easily replaced her, despite grumbles from some House Republicans over whether she was sufficiently conservative.
Now, Stefanik proudly calls herself “ultra-MAGA.”
Trump has already begun taking aim at his expected GOP primary rivals, calling out Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ahead of their own expected bids.
“Ron DeSanctimonious is playing games,” Trump said in a lengthy statement Thursday evening.
“The Fake News asks him if he’s going to run if President Trump runs, and he says, ‘I’m only focused on the Governor’s race, I’m not looking into the future,’” Trump wrote.
“Well, in terms of loyalty and class, that’s really not the right answer.”
—Updated at 11:36 a.m.