Trump refuses to take sides, backs Eric in GOP Senate primary showdown in Missouri

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Former President Donald Trump on Monday endorsed Eric in the Republican Senate nomination race, a prominent fighter in Missouri, on the eve of the state’s primary.

After hours of teasing hours earlier that he would give an endorsement in the race, Trump declined to choose between two of the top three primary contestants — Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmidt and the former Missouri governor. Eric Grettens.

Instead, Trump offered his support for both.

“I trust the great people of Missouri, in this regard, to make their own decisions, just as they did when they gave me erosive victories in the 2016 and 2020 elections, and so I am proud to announce that Eric has my complete information and the full endorsement!” the former president wrote in a statement from Political Action Committee “Save America”.

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Former President Donald Trump speaks at a rally on May 28, 2022 in Casper, Wyoming.  The rally is being held in support of Representative Harriet Hageman.  Main competitor Liz Cheney in Wyoming.

Former President Donald Trump speaks at a rally on May 28, 2022 in Casper, Wyoming. The rally is being held in support of Representative Harriet Hageman. Main competitor Liz Cheney in Wyoming.
(Photo by Chet String/Getty Images)

Schmidt, who twice won statewide elections in Missouri — for treasurer and later for attorney general — has made headlines over the past year and a half, filing several lawsuits against the Biden administration. He topped the latest polls in the race.

First on the Fox: Sarah Sanders endorses Schmidt in the Missouri GOP

Greitens, a former US Marine who left his post in 2018 amid multiple controversies, was the clear leader in the primary race, but for months he has been battling his ex-wife’s allegations that he abused her and their child. Greitens denies these allegations.

Republican Senate candidate and former Missouri governor.  Eric Grettens speaks with Fox News at the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida on February 3.  24, 2022

Republican Senate candidate and former Missouri governor. Eric Grettens speaks with Fox News at the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida on February 3. 24, 2022
(Fox News)

There is a long list of Republicans who fear that the Green Party’s political baggage could jeopardize what should be a relatively secure Republican seat in November. The anti-Green super organization PAC spent more than $6 million this summer running ads targeting the former governor.

The two Eric, along with Rep. Vicki Hartzler, who represents Missouri’s fourth congressional district in the predominantly rural Midwest part of the state, leads a field of more than 20 Missouri Republicans vying for the party’s Senate nomination, in the race to succeed the retired Republican senator. Roy Blunt.

Runners on the upper front of the Missouri Senate, all pledged to run for McConnell as leader of the Republican Senate

Among others in the Republican race is Rep. Billy Long in the 7th state congressional district in southwest Missouri, and Mark McCluskey, St. Lewis’ attorney who, along with his wife, made national headlines during the summer of 2020 for carrying guns outside their home to fend off black lives protesters.

The Green Party quickly took to Twitter after Trump’s statement was released, saying “I am honored to receive President Trump’s endorsement.”

He also claimed that “from the beginning, I was a true MAGA champion fighting against the RINO Foundation supporting Schmidt.”

RINO means Republican in name only.

Schmidt also took to Twitter, writing “I am grateful for President Trump’s endorsement. As the only America First candidate who has already fought for election integrity, border security, and against the left’s indoctrination of our children – I will take this fight to the Senate to save America!”

Republican Attorney General Eric Schmidt of Missouri, the leading contender for the Republican Senate nomination, greets voters in Texas County and the Shannon County caucus of Lincoln County, on June 11, 2022

Republican Attorney General Eric Schmidt of Missouri, the leading contender for the Republican Senate nomination, greets voters in Texas County and the Shannon County caucus of Lincoln County, on June 11, 2022
(Eric Schmidt campaign in the Senate)

Grettens, Schmidt, and Hartzler lobbied the former president. But Trump said earlier this summer that he would not support Hartzler.

Harzler, in an interview with Fox Digital on Monday, described her as “the one she’s fighting for [Trump’s] The America First agenda in Washington, which has worked hand in hand with the President to get our economy moving…I am the true conservative in this race. I am someone who has a proven track record of being efficient and getting things done.”

The winner of Tuesday’s Republican primary in November is likely to face either Trudy Bush Valentine, the heiress to the Beer family, or Lucas Koncy, a former Marine running an aggressive populist-style campaign. The two candidates are the front-runners on the ballot in a crowded field of 11 Democratic contestants.

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Missouri was once a competitive state but has veered into the Republican Party over the past decade, and the winner of the Senate primaries from the GOP will be considered the favorite in the November general election.

Former President Clinton in 1996 was the last Democrat to win the state in the race for the White House, and then the senator. Claire McCaskill’s 2012 victory was the last time a Democrat won a state Senate election. Trump won the state by 18 points in his 2016 presidential election victory and by 16 points in his 2020 reelection defeat.

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