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Sen. Josh Hawley, a R-Mo, during a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on Nov. 17, 2022.
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo, during a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on Nov. 17, 2022.Ting Shen / Bloomberg via Getty Images file

Sen. Josh Hawley wants to see how 2024 GOP primary field develops before committing

In the 2024 W.H. race, Hawley tells NBC News he's not ready to back a candidate yet, saying, "it's a long way to go in the primary."

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Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., said he's not ready to commit to a 2024 GOP primary candidate just yet as former President Trump has the field to himself at the moment.

Hawley, who said in November that he will not make a presidential bid of his own, told NBC News in an interview that "it's a long way to the primary" and "I obviously, have supported President Trump and I thought he did great stuff in office," but he would like to see how the campaign further develops.

Recently, fellow Sens. Eric Schmitt, R-Mo., and J.D. Vance, R-Ohio, have announced they're backing Trump's bid. Trump helped both clear a GOP primary field with his endorsement, though in Schmitt's case, Trump backed "Eric" in a race that featured Schmitt and controversial former Gov. Eric Greitens.

"Given the results of this last midterm election — which I think we shouldn’t sugarcoat and Republicans shouldn’t — it was very disappointing for Republicans, especially on the Senate side," he said. "And my view is that we’ve got a lot of soul-searching to do, particularly the D.C. Republicans and the D.C. Republicans need to wake up to the fact that unless we become a party that delivers for working class people, we’re not going to be a majority."

"What my energies are focused on right now is trying to get my party at the D.C. level ... to understand this, to realize it, and to try and adopt principles that will move us toward on that basis," he continued, adding, "And I look forward to seeing how the field develops. I hope to be candidate for re-election myself here in the same cycle. So there’ll be a lot of work to do."