Rep. Jim Banks (R-ID) this weekend appeared to back off his previous endorsements of Donald Trump’s potential 2024 candidacy, telling Fox News Sunday that “I’ll save my endorsement for another place and time for the 2024 race.”
The Republican lawmaker has on multiple occasions signaled his support for a Trump 2024 run, telling Politico over the summer that he would back the former president as soon as he enters the race. “If President Trump runs, he has my support,” Banks said. “And he helps us draw out Trump voters which helps us win in November in the midterm… He’s more popular than he’s ever been before.”
And earlier this week, the day after Trump-backed candidates vastly underperformed in the midterm elections—leading many within the party to blame the ex-president and signal a break from the election-denying leader—Banks told The New York Times that he still supported Trump, who “transformed our party.”
Trump is expected to announce a presidential run on Tuesday, despite protestations from his own allies. When asked on Sunday morning by Fox News anchor Shannon Bream about whether Trump’s primary candidacy is a “good or bad thing” for the GOP, Banks struck a more hesitant tone compared to his previous support for the ex-president.
“Donald Trump is popular figure in the Republican Party, in each corner of the country,” the MAGA-boosting congressman said, adding that “we’re still unpacking what happened last Tuesday, trying to figure out where our party goes from here.”
Asked point-blank whether he will support Trump, Banks dodged the question: “I believe Donald Trump was an effective president, I believe could be a very effective president for our country again. I’ll save my endorsement for another place and time for the 2024 race. I’m focused wholly on what happened on Tuesday and how the party moves forward on Capitol Hill.”