A Monday article at Politico makes the case that Donald Trump will likely be running as the peace candidate among individuals vying to be the 2024 Republican presidential nominee.
The article’s authors — Meridith McGraw, Natalie Allison, and Gary Fineout— write:
Those close to Trump’s campaign operation say he plans to try and paint himself as an anti-war dove amongst the hawks. They believe doing so will resonate with GOP voters who are divided on, but growing wary of, continued support for Ukraine in its war with Russia.
Such a strategy would be in line with how Trump presented his campaign from the beginning — in his November 15 candidacy announcement speech. In that speech, Trump referenced his not having started a new war during his presidential term when declaring that, “unlike Biden possibly getting us into World War III, which can seriously happen, I will keep America out of foolish and unnecessary foreign wars just as I did for four straight years.”
Trump’s record on peace leaves some to be desired. But, his 2024 Republican presidential primary opponents can be expected to include major warmongers. The Politico article mentions Nikki Haley, Mike Pence, and Mike Pompeo as likely contenders, all of whom appear to be more pro-war than Trump. And while Florida Governor Ron DeSantis — another potential candidate for the nomination — is not widely known for his thoughts on foreign policy, the Politico article quotes a Trump advocate who provides a preview of the case for Trump as the peacemaker vis-à-vis DeSantis:
‘Trump is the peace president and he’s the first president in two generations to not start a war, whereas if you look at DeSantis’ congressional record, he’s voted for more engagement and more military engagement overseas,’ said a person close to the Trump campaign, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe internal discussions.
DeSantis was a Republican United States House of Representatives member from Florida from January of 2013 through September of 2018, when he left the House toward the end of his successful governor campaign. DeSantis was appointed to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs upon joining the House and went on to be chairman on the Subcommittee on National Security at the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. So DeSantis should have plenty of a track record related to war and peace.
We’ll see if Trump follows through with this campaign strategy.