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Trump Endorses Rogers; Pensler Scaling Back Ad Buy; Amash Defiant

March 19, 2024

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump Monday gave U.S. Senate candidate Mike Rogers his “complete and total endorsement,” a significant step up for the former member of Congress, who has been critical of Trump as a political commentator. 

Trump called Rogers a “highly respected” member of Congress who he said would work closely with him in securing the border, tamping down inflation and protecting the Second Amendment. 

Rogers responded by thanking the former president, and saying he was “excited to get to work with you to Get America and Michigan Back on Track!”* 

When Rogers was a commentator on CNN, he called him “more gangster than presidential.” Today, with Trump likely needing Michigan to be successful in the fall, the future presidential nominee appears to be trying to clear the field on the U.S. Senate side as opposed to a potentially expensive primary sucking away General Election dollars. 

With 13 Republican candidates having filed paperwork with the Federal Elections Commission to run for the U.S. Senate, Monday’s news is viewed as a setback for candidates like Sandy Pensler, who needed Trump to at least stay neutral to have a realistic shot at the nomination. Political reporter Kirk Babo tweeted later in the day that the Pensler campaign scaled back an ad buy for Detroit and Grand Rapids by at least $131,850. 

Declared U.S. Senate candidate Justin Amash seemed to relish the news, tweeting “I’m going to win this Senate race, and the establishment is starting to figure that out. I’m a staunch defender of liberty and the Constitution. They know I won’t bend the knee to anyone. Deep State Mike Rogers has been an establishment stooge his whole career. This will be fun.”  

The Libertarian-minded Amash added that since he and Rogers served together in Congress, there are several conflicting votes between him and Rogers. “When voters get a hold of the Mike Rogers receipts, they’re going to do everything they can to return him to Florida.” 

The likely Democratic nominee, U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly) sent out a fundraising email by 5:49 p.m. that laid out the politics of the move.  

“Now that (Trump has) weighed in, it means a good chunk of the Republican Party is sure to unify around Mike Rogers, opening doors to fundraising and volunteers that didn’t exist before,” she wrote. “Trump’s endorsement is an acknowledgement of how important Michigan is to his success — something we’ve always known about the importance of the state to Democrats’ chances of holding the Senate and White House.” 

Mike Rogers has Trump. Elissa has you. And if lots and lots of people donate to her campaign today, we’ll be well on our way toward securing the resources we need to win this race. 

Michigan Democratic Party Chair Lavora Barnes was quick with a response, writing, “The chaotic Senate primary is getting even nastier as Trump pours gasoline on the fire. Mike Rogers abandoned Michigan a decade ago as he walked through the revolving door to get rich – and Michigan families deserve better.” 

*”Thank you, Mr. President! Excited to get to work with you to Get America and Michigan Back on Track!” — Mike Rogers (@MikeRogersForMI) March 11, 2024, 


Article courtesy MIRS News for SBAM’s Lansing Watchdog newsletter

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