At least three politically-connected individuals who seem to be close to President Trump have said in recent days that they weren’t sure Trump would run for reelection in 2020.
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and political consultant Roger Stone have all said, within the past week and a half, that Trump may not run in 2020 – notwithstanding widespread speculation to the contrary.
In an interview on the Today show’s Matt Lauer on October 27, Christie said:
If he runs again I would support him, yes, but I’m not so sure what will happen. Four years is a long time, and especially for someone who has not spent a lifetime in politics, so I think those years affect him differently. So I’m sure the president will make whatever decision is best for him and his family and the country.
Christie, who ran for Republican presidential nomination in 2016 and whose term as governor ends in two months, was the first among the presidential candidates to support Trump.
Paul differs with question about whether a Republican presidential primary in 2020 would be a good thing
Paul, who also ran for president, didn’t appear to become particular close to Trump until this year. But he has golfed with the president. Recently, Trump and Paul always seem to be saying nice things about each other.
In an interview with NBC News’s Kasie Hunt, Paul was asked if a Republican primary would be good for the party. He responded, in full:
I think no one can stop primaries from happening, and there could well be a primary that happens. Before you get to that, you have to know if President Trump runs for re-election, and I think you won’t know that until you get into the second or third year of his presidency.
Later, Hunt came back to Paul’s response, calling it an adequate answer, but Paul forcefully disagreed:
I think it is a pretty good answer I gave you: That we have no idea [whether a primary would be a good thing.] You can’t answer the question until we know whether Trump is going to run or not.
Roger Stone doesn’t know whether Trump will run for reelection
In a separate interview with The Jack News, the controversial political consultant Roger Stone made the same point.
Stone, who briefly worked with the Trump campaign, continued to support the effort even after leaving the team in the summer of 2015. The infamous political trickster said that he had spoken with Trump as recently as two weeks ago.
Stone said: “I don’t know whether he will run for office” again in 2020. He noted that “three years in politics is a lifetime.”
(President Donald Trump attends the joint press conference at the presidential Blue House on November 7, 2017 in Seoul, South Korea. Trump is in South Korea as a part of his Asian tour. Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images.)