Jan 17, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Trump blowback hits House Freedom Caucus chair Bob Good

(Photo by Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)

Photo: Kent Nishimura/Getty Images

House Freedom Caucus Chair Bob Good (R-Va.) is now paying the price for his decision to endorse Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis instead of former President Trump in the presidential primaries.

Why it matters: The Trump team's decision to get involved changes the dynamics of the race, and a quirky primary format that helped Good in 2020 isn't available in 2024.

  • "Bob Good won't be electable when we get done with him," Chris LaCivita, Trump's campaign manager, told Cardinal News.
  • Facing backlash for his endorsement, Good asserted that he is not a "Never Trumper," praising the former president on Wednesday.
  • "I'm not against President Trump — I like what President Trump did. I just think we need eight years and so that's why I endorsed Gov. DeSantis," Good told reporters on Wednesday.

Between the lines: Good was elected to Virginia's 5 Congressional District after beating former Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-Va.) — who came under fire for officiating a same-sex wedding — in a drive-through Republican Party convention in 2020.

  • "They had to go to a church-run convention in order to beat me despite the fact that I was a moderate Republican. And in order to do that, they had to disenfranchise as many voters as possible and go all in with Trump," Riggleman said.
  • This year there'll be a more traditional primary, and Good faces a challenger in former Navy Seal and current state Sen. John McGuire (R-Va.).

What they're saying: A sizable number of Good's colleagues saying they would not be sad to see Good leave Congress. But others note the firebrand is popular with the GOP base, which could help him survive the challenge.

  • "President Trump more than likely is going to support his opponent and he's still supporting DeSantis who is going to lose horrifically — the primary is already over. God bless him," Rep. Max Miller (R-Ohio) said. "Bob Good is following in this in the same footsteps as Eric Cantor."
  • "The House Freedom Caucus board is filled with Never Trumpers led by their new chairman angry disloyal MAGA traitor Bob Good," Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) posted on X. "President Trump is going to win in 24, and he needs loyal America First warriors NOT Congressmen on a power trip who will stab him in the back."

The big picture: The race is expected to be heated and expensive, and it remains unclear whether conservative outside groups will spend to boost Good or McGuire in the race.

  • Good currently only has $182,120 in cash-on-hand.
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