National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) chairman Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) on Monday endorsed former President Donald Trump for president in 2024, a major additional pickup for the former president amid several major endorsements he has racked up lately.
Daines, who made the endorsement during an appearance on Donald Trump Jr.’s Rumble show Triggered on Monday evening, is the 11th U.S. senator to back Trump’s bid to return to the White House. Daines, as chairman of the NRSC, is also the first member of the Senate GOP leadership to formally back Trump in 2024.
“The best four years I have had in the U.S. Senate is when President Trump was serving in the Oval Office,” Daines told Trump Jr. “You talk about results — we passed and he signed into law the greatest tax cut in American history. We transformed the courts — the Supreme Court and the circuit courts. We passed the greatest conservation win in 50 years, Don, the Great American Outdoors Act. We had a country that was respected and strong. Joe Biden has empowered and emboldened our adversaries by his weakness. He just shivers under his desk during the day and our adversaries now are getting increasingly bolder and that’s very, very dangerous for the world. He’s got one more thing we’ve got to finish up and that’s finish building the wall and let’s finish securing out southern border and protect our communities. I’ll tell you Don, the meth and fentanyl and the drugs are destroying so many Montana communities. For these reasons and many others, I am proud to endorse Donald J. Trump for president of the United States.”
BREAKING: NRSC Chairman Senator @SteveDaines endorses @realDonaldTrump for 2024 Live on @DonaldJTrumpJr’s podcast 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/F7mqfzsvf6
— MAGA War Room (@MAGAIncWarRoom) April 24, 2023
In response, Trump Jr. thanked Daines for endorsing his father’s comeback campaign.
“That’s absolutely awesome,” Trump Jr. replied. “I appreciate and love that it’s not just our friendship but that you understand exactly what he was able to deliver and despite what we dealt with in the news and tech and Russia, Russia, Russia nonsense, that’s what’s sort of amazing about the whole thing. You still look at his accomplishments but you look at those accomplishments relative to what he was up against. So many people even on the conservative side working against him behind the scenes and obviously the entire weight, strength, and force of the mainstream media and Big Tech creating a narrative that didn’t exist and yet the American people still saw safety, prosperity, and we weren’t worried about Russia invading allies and we weren’t worried about China encroaching on our allies.”
After some back and forth about the dangers worldwide on the rise with Biden in the White House, Daines reiterated the importance of Republicans retaking the White House and the U.S. Senate in 2024.
“This gets back to how important 2024 is,” Daines said. “We’re on an unsustainable path right now as a country with the Democrats and Joe Biden in charge of the White House, Chuck Schumer in charge of the Senate. This is a path that is not sustainable.”
He then reiterated the Trump endorsement next–and noted that Trump needs a GOP senate to confirm his nominees if and when he is back in the Oval Office.
“It is so, so important that we one, elect Donald Trump to be president in 2024, and two, make sure that we give him a Republican U.S. Senate because the very first action of a new president is to move forward with new personnel moves,” Daines said. “You’ve got to put a Secretary of Defense, a Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of State—these key positions for national security as well as economic security.”
Daines’s endorsement is particularly noteworthy given the fact that he is the Senate Republican in charge of 2024 U.S. Senate races for the party, meaning that he can help move the party’s political machinery in a way that also helps Trump. It is also significant that he is the first member of the Senate GOP leadership team, which also includes Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate GOP Whip John Thune, and Senate GOP conference chairman John Barrasso, to endorse anyone in the 2024 primary—and that he is endorsing Trump. McConnell, Thune, and Barrasso have not announced any 2024 endorsement. But a member of the Senate GOP leadership endorsing Trump, given his icy relationship with McConnell in particular, is a major coup for the former president and a sign of perhaps a warmer brewing relationship between Trump and party leaders who were ready to move on from him not too long ago.
In recent weeks, Trump has been dominating the inside game of picking up endorsements from elected Republicans nationwide. He recently won the endorsement of Sens. Ted Budd (R-NC), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), and Mike Braun (R-IN)—and he has picked up backing formally from a majority of U.S. House Republicans from Florida.
Rep, Byron Donalds (R-FL), who got the latest round going, kicked off a slew of endorsements of Trump from several other House Republicans from Florida including Reps. Michael Waltz (R-FL), Carlos Gimenez (R-FL), Vern Buchanan (R-FL), Greg Steube (R-FL), John Rutherford (R-FL), Brian Mast (R-FL), Cory Mills (R-FL), and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL). Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL) had already endorsed Trump before.
Trump, in other words, is quickly unifying the Republican Party behind his campaign to retake the White House in 2024, even before Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis—who has not formally announced a campaign — enters the race as widely expected. Trump told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview earlier this month in Indianapolis at the National Rifle Association (NRA) annual gathering that he is “honored” to be the clear frontrunner for the GOP nomination and celebrated Republicans unifying behind him.
“I think so. I think the party is very unified,” Trump said. “I also think they’re looking at the polls now and they’re saying, ‘wow, that’s impressive.’ But we’re leading by so much and they’re seeing that. I think people look back to those four years we had — we had an incredible four years then we got hit by the COVID situation, the gift from China, which was a terrible, terrible thing to have to go through that. But we did a great job with it, rebuilt the economy, gave over a stock market that was higher than it was just pre-COVID — pretty amazing. People look back to the times of especially that first two and a half years prior to the COVID coming — the China virus as I call it because that’s what it was. There’s never been anything like it in the history of our country. We can do that again, and I think we can actually do it even better again.”