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2024 GOP Contenders Pledge to Pardon Trump if Elected

Leading Republican presidential candidates in the United States have sequentially declared their intentions to pardon former President Donald Trump if they are elected in an attempt to win over Trump’s base of supporters.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis answered a reporter’s question about pardoning former President Trump in Iowa on the 29th of last month saying, “As Ford did for Nixon, I believe we need to move forward as one nation.” He added, “Division is not beneficial for the national interest.” DeSantis was referring to the precedent set in 1974 when then-President Gerald Ford pardoned former President Richard Nixon who had resigned due to the Watergate scandal suggesting a positive stance on pardoning Trump.

When repeatedly asked by reporters if he would pardon Trump, DeSantis confirmed “Yes. I said it a few months ago.” He was referring to his statement made after declaring his candidacy for the presidential election last May, in which he said he would consider pardoning those involved in the January 2021 Capitol riots including former President Trump.

Nikki Haley, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations who is rapidly rising as a ‘counterpoint to Trump’ stated a day earlier on the 28th in New Hampshire that she would “pardon Trump” if he were convicted in court. Haley emphasized, “Leaders need to think about what is in the best interest of the nation,” and “It is not in the best interest of the nation to continue to divide our country by imprisoning an 80-year-old man.” She added, “The best national interest is to pardon him so we can move forward as a nation and no longer talk about him.”

Another Republican presidential candidate entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, also advocated for Trump’s pardon early on.

The reason Republican presidential candidates are successively expressing their support for pardoning former President Trump is interpreted as a judgment based on the fact that they cannot become the presidential candidate without appeasing the resentment of Trump’s base, which receives overwhelming support from Republican voters. Currently, former President Trump is on trial for 91 charges related to four criminal cases, including inciting a congressional riot to overturn his election defeat, intervening in the Georgia election, leaking national defense secrets, and hushing up sexual allegations.

The Washington Post (WP) analyzed, “DeSantis and Haley, who are leading among non-Trump Republican candidates, have been performing a political tightrope act for months, trying to distinguish themselves from the former president while also trying to win over the Trump supporters necessary for primary victory.”

By. Hae Young Kwon

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