- Top Republicans, including his primary foes, backed Trump in the wake of the Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling.
- The court found that Trump was disqualified from the 2024 ballot due to his actions on January 6, 2021.
- Trump has vowed to appeal the case to the Supreme Court.
Republicans are rallying around Donald Trump just weeks before the former president’s primary foes hoped to begin to wrestle the nomination from his grasp.
Even former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, who appears to have become the Trump foe du jour, bashed the Colorado Supreme Court for trying to boot Trump off of the 2024 ballot.
“I will beat him fair and square,” Haley told reporters in Iowa. “We don’t need to have judges making these decisions. We need voters to make these decisions. So I want to see this in the hands of the voters.”
On Tuesday evening, the Colorado Supreme Court released a 4-3 decision that found Trump had violated the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution by his actions before and during the Capitol riot. Trump immediately vowed to appeal the decision to the US Supreme Court. If the ruling were to stand, it would severely damage Trump’s chances if he were to make it to the 2024 general election given that it would almost certainly open the floodgates to similar challenges.
At the moment, Haley and Trump are tussling over the gas tax, a quaint reminder of how primary disagreements used to have at least a passing nexus to policy. Deep down though, the primary has been about Trump’s future since almost the beginning.
Haley has netted key endorsements in recent weeks, including from New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu. Despite trailing Trump by double-digits in the Granite State, the hope is that Haley can surge at the last minute in what can be a late-breaking state.
It’s hard to see how the current, rally ’round Trump moment will help what was already a long-shot comeback. The major difference this time is that Republicans will start voting in less than a month.
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, an unrelenting Trump critic who still registers in New Hampshire polls, also denounced the court’s decision.
“I do not believe Donald Trump should be prevented from being president of the United States by any court,” Christie said during a town hall event, per NBC News. “I think he should be prevented from being president of the United States by the voters of this country.”
The Republican National Committee has reiterated that it will help Trump appeal the Colorado case, just as it has tried to argue in his favor before other states that have considered similar challenges.
“Election interference,” RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. “This irresponsible ruling will be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court and our legal team looks forward to helping fight for a victory. The Republican nominee will be decided by Republican voters, not a partisan state court.”
Most of the field, or for that matter, the party, has rarely looked back since federal agents searched Mar-a-Lago in August last year. Trump’s allies and would-be foes have torched prosecutors from New York’s Alvin Bragg and Fulton County’s Fani Willis to special counsel Jack Smith. Fairly or unfairly, each resulting legal headache has been temporarily soothed by top Republicans rushing to the former president’s side.
In the meantime, what briefly was a close race in December 2022 (Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis actually led in some polls) has now become a near-certain blowout just two years later.
It’s no surprise then that a New York Times/Siena College poll found that Republicans say they’ll stand behind Trump regardless of what may come next. According to the poll, more than 60% of Republicans would still back Trump as the party’s nominee even if he is convicted of a federal crime.