Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, two of the most influential Republican figures in the U.S., recently hosted a major donor summit in Utah with potential 2024 GOP presidential candidates in attendance. The two–along with coalition partners like the RNC and Senator Benjamin Sasse–hosted 2024 hopefuls, such as former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley and governor Mike Huckabee, to court major donations, and to raise their profiles in the eyes of the party’s top donors.
The invite-only event included appearances from rising Republican stars appearing via remote link like Governor Kristi Noem of South Dakota and the former governor of South Carolina, Mark Sanford. Other notable Republicans present at the summit included 2012’s Vice Presidential candidate, Paul Ryan, as well as Ronna McDaniel, the chair of the Republican National Committee.
The summit was hosted less than a week before the 2020 presidential election, and is seen by many as an effort to build a base of support for a potential 2024 presidential run. Romney and Ryan have been vocal in their support for a strong Republican leader who will increase their chances of winning the White House in the next election, and the summit served as an opportunity to network with potential allies and donors.
In addition to raising donations and generating excitement around potential candidates, Romney and Ryan also used the event to lay out the foundations of their vision for the Republican Party going forward. With an eye towards improving economic security, civil rights, immigration, international relations, and the environment, Romney emphasised the need for the party to move away from its traditional platform and move towards more centrist positions which could draw support from independent voters.
The donor summit was a clear indication of Romney and Ryan’s intentions to remain heavily involved in the future of the GOP. As the Republican party begins its post-Trump era, the former rivals will no doubt continue to be major players in the future of the conservative movement.