We’re still a year and a half out until the formal start of the 2024 GOP presidential nomination race, but very early preseason moves on Tuesday by potential White House hopefuls are sparking more intrigue and speculation.
Fox News learned on Tuesday that former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will address a New Hampshire GOP virtual fundraiser on March 29 for a Republican candidate in an upcoming state legislative special election. Pompeo’s remote address to GOP lawmakers, rainmakers, activists and donors in the first-in-the-nation presidential primary state will come just a couple of days after he finishes up an in-person swing to advocate on behalf of conservatives in Iowa, the state whose caucuses kick off the race for the White House nominating calendar.
“I care deeply about America,” Pompeo told host Sean Hannity. “You and I have been part of the conservative movement for an awfully long time now. I aim to keep at it.”
Hannity said he would take Pompeo’s answer as “a strong maybe,” to which Pompeo responded, “That’s perfect.”
The announcement that Pompeo would speak later this month to New Hampshire Republicans on the same day that another potential 2024 Republican White House hopeful – former ambassador to the United Nations and former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley – spotlighted her support for GOP Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Iowa.
Haley’s Stand for America PAC made Miller-Meeks its first endorsed candidate of the 2022 midterm election cycle, when Republicans aim to win back the House and Senate majorities. The freshman congresswoman won last November’s election by just six votes over Democrat Rita Hart.
Hart petitioned the election results to the Democratic-controlled House, and the House Administration Committee is considering Hart’s challenge.
There is less 2024 speculation surrounding Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who unsuccessfully ran for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination. But that may change if Paul’s image keeps appearing in mailers to Republican voters in the early primary and caucus states.
“It’s time to stop election fraud,” Paul emphasizes in a mailer sent by the Protect Freedom PAC, an outside group affiliated with the libertarian-minded senator that says it is “dedicated to supporting pro-liberty and freedom-minded candidates.”
“Do you need or want help in your state to help pass legislation to ensure the integrity of our election? We are here to help,” reads the language in the mailer.
New Hampshire is among a number of states – in which Republicans control both the legislature and the governor’s office – where GOP state lawmakers are advancing bills that would tighten voting eligibility laws and restrictions.
“It’s never too early for the next presidential primary in New Hampshire or Iowa,” longtime New Hampshire based GOP consultant Jim Merrill told Fox News.
Merrill, a veteran of numerous Republican presidential campaigns, said that “these early moves make it clear once again that New Hampshire and Iowa are going to be pivotal to determining who our next president is going to be.”
Pompeo, Haley and Paul are all on a large list of nearly 20 Republicans whom pundits consider potential 2024 White House hopefuls.
At the top of that list is Trump.
The former president fueled more speculation about a 2024 run to try and return to the White House as he gave his first post-presidency speech last month at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), telling the adoring audience “who knows … I may even decide” to run for a third time.