Former President Donald Trump again ridiculed Gov. Doug Ducey over his potential political future after he's termed out of the governorship in 2023, saying in a Wednesday night statement the Republican governor who embraced Trump during his first administration would never clinch his endorsement.
Ducey, chair of the Republican Governors Association, repeatedly has said he is not running for the U.S. Senate in 2022, when Republicans hope to win back the seat held by Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz.
As RGA chair, Ducey reiterated his position Monday in a media call with Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., who leads the National Senatorial Campaign Committee.
A Ducey campaign spokesperson declined to comment.
Trump questioned Ducey's conservative credentials and jeered at his decision to distance himself from the audit of 2.1 million ballots cast in Maricopa County in the 2020 presidential election. Trump, riveted by the review, has told those close to him the review, which does not meet professional auditing standards, could lead to his reinstatement of office.
“Good news! RINO (Republican In Name Only) Governor Doug Ducey of Arizona has restated the fact that he is not running for the United States Senate,” Trump said in a written statement.
“It would not matter, however, because he could not get the nomination after failing to perform on the Voter Fraud in Arizona. Also, there is no way he would get my endorsement, which means, his aspirations would be permanently put to rest anyway. Again, thank you to our brave Republicans in the Arizona State Senate for their bravery in putting forward the Forensic Audit. Everybody is anxiously awaiting the result!”
Trump widely is expected to make an endorsement in Arizona's U.S. Senate race and make appearances in Arizona, a state he has long had an affinity for despite Democrat Joe Biden carrying it in 2020. The ballot review is serving as a litmus test for which candidates he will endorse in 2022 contests here and in other marquee races.
While Ducey has said, “I’m not running for the United States Senate,” both Republican and Democratic operatives note his use of the present tense as a sign that Ducey is not actively a candidate but could become one in the future.
Given his campaign fundraising infrastructure and his national profile, Ducey quickly could up a U.S. Senate bid should he decide to get in the race. Ducey has long been said to have 2024 aspirations as a presidential or vice presidential candidate, or try for a Cabinet position should Republicans win the White House.
Ducey, who is close to former Vice President Mike Pence, was slow to fully embrace Trump during his first run for the White House and early in his tenure.
The two warmed up to each other and aides for both men have said they had a collegial relationship.
Ducey stumped in 2020 for Trump, who called him “Doug.”
Trump soured on Ducey after he certified Arizona's election results, silencing a phone call from Trump as he did so. The certification, and Ducey's repeated remarks about Arizona's secure voting systems, angered Trump and the GOP base who deemed Ducey a traitor to the party.
Support local journalism. Subscribe to azcentral.com today.
#Donald #Trump #ridicules #Ariz #Gov #Doug #Ducey #political #future