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Former President Donald Trump speaks during the New Hampshire Republican State Committee 2023 annual meeting on Jan. 28, 2023, in Salem, N.H.
Former President Donald Trump speaks during the New Hampshire Republican State Committee 2023 annual meeting on Jan. 28, 2023, in Salem, N.H. Reba Saldanha / AP

Eyes on 2024: Questions about GOP nominee support are 2016 rewind

The Republican debate over whether to back Trump if he wins the presidential nomination is a familiar one.

By and

In 2016, then-candidate Donald Trump refused to say he would back the eventual GOP presidential nominee, and some Republicans refused to believe that nominee could be Trump. Well, that same storyline played out on Thursday. 

Trump even told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt that he would “give you the same answer I gave in 2016 during the debates. It would have to depend on who the nominee was.”

Former Maryland GOP Gov. Larry Hogan, a staunch Trump critic weighing his own run for president, also joined Hewitt’s show on Thursday. When asked “If Trump is the nominee, does Larry Hogan support him?” Hogan replied: “Yeah, I just don’t think he’s going to be the nominee, but I’ll support the nominee.”

But Hogan later clarified on Twitter: “Trump won’t commit to supporting the Republican nominee, and I won’t commit to supporting him. As I have repeatedly said, I fully expect to support the Republican nominee — who I don’t believe will be Trump.”

In other campaign news:

An early-state swing: After her expected presidential announcement, former U.N. Ambassador and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley will travel to New Hampshire and Iowa, per NBC News’ Julia Jester and Ali Vitali.

Pompeo’s hot take: About a week after he downplayed the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said during an interview that “We delivered a peaceful transition on Jan. 6, 2021, exactly as our Constitution requires.” 

The Gas Stove Protection and Freedom Act: Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., and Ted Cruz, R-Texas, are out with a new bill that would prevent the use of federal funds to ban gas stoves. 

The GOP’s new primary moves: The Hill explores how the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s endorsement of Indiana Rep. Jim Banks’ Senate bid is a signal the party is changing its tune on wading into competitive Senate primaries. 

Waiting for Cardin: Some Democrats are preparing for potential Senate bids if Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., decides not to run for re-election, Politico reports.

Pelosi makes her pick: Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday she’d back Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff’s California Senate bid if Sen. Dianne Feinstein decides to retire. 

Not MISS-ing an opportunity: Politico explores why Democrats believe they could have a shot at winning the Mississippi governor’s race. And Pluribus News reports GOP Gov. Tate Reeves has avoided a significant primary challenge, now that this week’s filing deadline in the race has passed.

Freedom of disassembly: Arizona Republican Rep. David Schweikert, who will likely be a Democratic top target in 2024, is leaving the Freedom Caucus, per NBC News’ Kyle Stewart