‘We Like That Rematch’ Speaker Johnson Says With 2024 Shaping up to Another Biden–Trump Contest

‘We Like That Rematch’ Speaker Johnson Says With 2024 Shaping up to Another Biden–Trump Contest
Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-La.) listens during a news conference following the Republican conference meeting at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 17, 2024. (Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) is sharing optimism at the thought that the 2024 presidential election is increasingly shaping up to be a rematch of the 2020 contest.

Former President Donald Trump was already a distant frontrunner in the Republican primary contest before the Super Tuesday primary results and won all but one of the 15 primary contests. By Wednesday morning, former South Carolina governor and challenger Nikki Haley ended her bid for the Republican party nomination, virtually cementing President Trump’s path to the party nomination.

While President Joe Biden faces some challenges in the Democratic party primary, he also remains a distant frontrunner and appears on track for his party’s nomination.

At a House leadership press engagement on Wednesday, Mr. Johnson cheered the current trajectory for the primary contest.

“We’re very happy with the results last night,” the Republican House Speaker told reporters. “The race is set. Now it will be a rematch, and we like that rematch.”

While President Trump lost control over the White House following the 2020 contest, Mr. Johnson suggested President Trump holds the advantage in the rematch because voters could now compare both candidates’ established records in the Oval Office.

“We know what President Trump delivered the first two years of his administration,” the Louisiana Republican said. “By just two years, we had delivered the greatest economy in the history of the world, not just the U.S., and the reason was because we acted upon our core principles that we’ve always supported as conservatives, as Republicans. We limited the size and scope of government. We cut regulation substantially. Of course, we had historic tax reform and tax cuts.”

Further praising President Trump’s first term, Mr. Johnson said the former president and 2024 frontrunner faced “headwinds” and “resistance” and was trying to figure out why some federal agencies appeared to refuse to follow his agenda or even work against it outright.

Mr. Johnson predicted President Trump, now with the benefit of experience, has “big plans” to overcome some of the leadership challenges he faced in his first term. He said Congressional Republicans will play a “big part” in that regard.

“House Republicans are going to work hand in hand with the new president, the 47th president, which we’re convinced will be President Donald Trump,” Mr. Johnson continued.

The Republican speaker predicted Republicans will also control the House and the U.S. Senate “and you will see our agenda run.”

Potentially bolstering Mr. Johnson’s confidence are polls showing President Trump leading President Biden in recent polls. The latest RealClearPolitics polling average has President Trump ahead of President Biden by 2.2 points in a head-to-head match-up. President Trump fared even better in match-ups that included third-party challenges from Robert F. Kennedy, Cornel West, and Jill Stein, leading the incumbent by 2.8 percent across the RCP average in this five-way contest.

President Trump also won the endorsement of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Wednesday. The relationship between President Trump and Mr. McConnell has been strained at times. The Kentucky senator blamed President Trump for disruptive demonstrations during the certification of the 2020 election results at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, but ultimately voted to acquit the president on impeachment charges of inciting an insurrection that day. President Trump has blamed Mr. McConnell for some recent Republican election losses.

Mr. McConnell’s decision to now endorse President Trump could provide some basis for the presidential candidate to shore up support from other apprehensive Republicans.

On the Democrat side of the race, President Biden signaled confidence in his reelection efforts after the Super Tuesday primary results.

“Today, millions of voters across the country made their voices heard—showing that they are ready to fight back against Donald Trump’s extreme plan to take us backwards,” the incumbent said in a post on social media platform X.

While President Trump appears to have all but tied up the party nomination process and shown signs of coalescing up Republican support, his bid to return to the Oval Office could be undermined by legal cases. He currently faces criminal indictments in New York and Georgia state courts and federal cases in the District of Columbia and Florida. The Georgia case may be upended amid allegations of impropriety within the prosecutor’s office. The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to consider presidential immunity arguments has already forced delays in the D.C. case and could further upend that case. Judge Eileen, the judge overseeing the classified documents case against President Trump in Florida, has said prosecution requests to start the trial by July are “unrealistic,” putting into question whether the case could move forward before the 2024 election.

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