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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Feb. 10, 2023, in Washington. Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

Eyes on 2024: Governors weigh in on presidential race

Democratic governors were unified behind President Joe Biden as he considers running for re-election.

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Governors gathered in the nation’s capital in recent days for the National Governors Association winter meeting. And while they were focused on their jobs at hand, questions about the 2024 presidential race were unavoidable. 

Democrats were united in saying they would support President Joe Biden if he runs again. 

Asked on Saturday if she would like to see Biden run again, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer told NBC News’ Jillian Frankel, “The president has said he’s going to run, he’ll have my support.” Whitmer also told CNN over the weekend that she is “100% “ focused on her current job when asked if she might run for president in 2028. 

At a Democratic Governors Association press conference on Thursday, a group of 11 governors echoed support for Biden’s potential re-election campaign.

“100%. Yes,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, the DGA’s chairman, said when asked directly if Biden should run again.

Murphy later told “Meet the Press” that Biden “has what it takes” to run for a second term, noting Biden’s recent travel touting various infrastructure projects. 

“I think you’re going to see more and more of that, and when you do, you’re going see, I believe, a significant shift in the numbers and reality,” Murphy said, responding to a question about the recent NBC News poll that found voters questioning Biden’s fitness. 

Utah GOP Gov. Spencer Cox also joined “Meet” and weighed in on the presidential race, saying he would like to see his party nominate a governor. 

In other campaign news…

Trump’s 2020 election cloud: Former President Donald Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election was stolen continue to hang over his campaign amid ongoing investigations. His attorneys are preparing to fight the special counsel’s recent subpoena of Vice President Mike Pence, per NBC News’ Garrett Haake and Minyvonne Burke. Former National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien was also recently subpoenaed in the investigation into Trump’s effort to overturn the election results, per NBC News’ Carol E. Lee and Dareh Gregorian. 

A turning point?: Trump has become increasingly frustrated by the conservative youth group Turning Point USA’s outreach to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, NBC News’ Allan Smith and Vaughn Hillyard report. 

DeSantis making summer plans?: The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman (who just co-authored a long piece on the dynamic between former Trump and DeSantis) tweeted that DeSantis is eying a potential late May/early June presidential announcement.

Begun, the entitlement wars have: NBC News’ Sahil Kapur delves deeper into the battle between President Biden and Republican lawmakers on Social Security and Medicare. 

Calling in the cavalry: South Carolina GOP Sen. Tim Scott, who is seen as a possible 2024 presidential contender, has hired former Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner and another seasoned GOP political operative to head his political operation, Axios reports.

Election denialism on tour: Former Republican nominee for Arizona governor, Kari Lake, criss-crossed Iowa this weekend, per the Washington Post, and touted a false message that the 2022 election was rigged as she eyes running for office again. 

A retirement on the horizon?: In an interview with the New York Times, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., confirmed he doesn’t plan to run for president again but wouldn’t say whether he planned to run for Senate again in 2024.

The race to fill Feinstein’s shoes: Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., is planning to announce her campaign for Senate later this month, a source confirms to NBC News. It would make her the third candidate to announce her bid to fill Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s seat. Feinstein hasn’t announced yet whether she’ll run for re-election.

The “CEO of Anti-Woke” hits the trail: Vivek Ramaswamy, a frequent Fox News guest and conservative upstart, is exploring a run for president and has appeared at multiple recent events in Iowa, Politico reports.