As he looks around at the actual and potential field of Republican presidential candidates, it appears former GOP Rep. Will Hurd of Texas doesn’t like what he sees.
‘The GOP will continue to lose to Democrats if Donald Trump is the nominee,’ Hurd tells Fox News.
Hurd, a former CIA clandestine officer who was the only Black Republican in the House during his tenure in Congress from 2015 to 2021, is not a fan of the former president, so his criticisms of Trump come as no surprise.
But when it comes to 2024, the former president who launched his third straight White House campaign in November is the overwhelming front-runner right now in the race for the GOP presidential nomination as the field of actual and likely contenders continues to grow, and Hurd is concerned.
‘I’m not satisfied with the field as it stands right now. No one is taking on Trump effectively, or presenting a vision for the future,’ Hurd emphasized.
Hurd will return later this month for his third visit this year to New Hampshire — which holds the first primary and second contest overall in the Republican presidential nominating calendar — hinting at a potential 2024 campaign.
‘I’ve served my country before, and I won’t rule out the opportunity to do it again,’ he said.
Hurd grabbed national attention last spring during a well-publicized book tour for ‘American Reboot: An Idealist’s Guide to Getting Big Things Done.’ In his book, Hurd urged his party to rethink its style of politics and offered ideas to reform America’s political system and keep the nation competitive against China and other powers.
In November, the day after an expected red wave turned into a trickle in the midterm elections, Hurd posted an 800-word essay encouraging Americans who were upset with the choice of candidates from the two major parties to become more involved in primary elections — which are often dominated by Democratic and Republican base voters.
‘One of the things that we have to recognize, and the Republican Party needs to come to grips with is that we’ve been losing. I don’t have to tell you that seven out of the eight last popular elections were lost by Republicans. We lost the House in 2018. We lost the Senate and the White House in 2020. We did not take the House back by the margin we should have in 2022,’ Hurd stressed in a recent interview with Fox News Digital in Iowa, the state that leads off the GOP primary and caucus schedule.
Looking ahead to next year, Hurd said that ‘the GOP has an opportunity in 2024 but we need candidates that can appeal to independents and that can appeal to Democrats. They’re wanting that because everybody thinks the country is on the wrong track.’
Hurd said that the voters he’s met with ‘want something bigger than themselves. They want to believe in something. They believe that our best days are ahead of us, and they want someone who recognizes that we need commonsense to deal with these complicated problems in this complicated world we’re living in.’
Asked if he needs to get into the White House race before the first Republican presidential primary debate – a Fox News hosted showdown in August in Milwaukee, Wisconsin – Hurd agreed, saying ‘I think anyone running for office, there are key hurdles that have to be met and you have to have organizations and boots on the ground and things like that. Those are all decisions that anybody running for office needs to be able to consider.’
If Hurd runs, he’ll face off against candidates with much greater name ID and much larger campaign war chests – such as Trump, former ambassador and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who launched her campaign in February, and Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, who’s scheduled to declare his candidacy later this month. And Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former Vice President Mike Pence are expected to enter the White House race in the coming weeks. Also in the race are former two-term Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, as well as entrepreneur and conservative commentator Vivek Ramaswamy and businessman Perry Johnson, who have pledged to pour millions of dollars of their personal wealth into their campaigns.
Asked how he can compete, Hurd told Fox News ‘the person that has the most money doesn’t always win,’ and emphasized that ‘the message matters.’
Hurd spoke with Fox News on the sidelines of the Iowa Faith and Freedom Spring Kick-off, where he and a half dozen other actual and potential 2024 Republican presidential contenders spoke in front of over 1,100 Hawkeye State evangelical voters, who enjoy outsized influence in Iowa’s GOP politics.
Hurd’s upbeat message of unity to the crowd stood in contrast to many of the other speakers — who spotlighted the current political battles over abortion, transgender rights, ‘wokeism,’ and other hot button social issues.
But Hurd seemed to keep his distance from those issues — which dominate many of the discussions in a Republican Party reshaped by Trump and focused on fighting the left.
‘If there’s one thing you need to know about me,’ Hurd told the audience. ‘I think America is the greatest country on Earth, and we’re better together.’