(Headline USA) Former Texas congressman Will Hurd, a onetime deep state CIA officer and fierce critic of Donald Trump, announced Thursday that he’s running for president, hoping to build momentum as a more moderate alternative to the Republican front-runner.
Hurd, 45, served three terms in the House through January 2021, becoming the chamber’s only black Republican during his final two years in office.
“We need common sense,” said Hurd, who made the announcement on CBS Mornings, adding, “I believe the Republican Party can be the party of the future, not the past.”
In a campaign video, the former congressman said that the “soul of our country is under attack,” reminiscent of Democrat Joe Biden’s slogan about the 2020 race being a “battle for the soul of the nation.”
“Our enemies plot, create chaos, and threaten the American Dream. At home, illegal immigration and fentanyl stream into our country. Inflation, still out of control. Crime and homelessness growing in our cities,” Hurd says in the video. “President Biden can’t solve these problems — or won’t. And if we nominate a lawless, selfish, failed politician like Donald Trump — who lost the House, the Senate, and the White House — we all know Joe Biden will win again.”
Hurd says he’s out to redefine the contours of the 2024 race and told NBC’s Meet the Press in May that the prospect of another election pitting the current president against the former one would be “the rematch from hell.” On Thursday, he called himself a “dark horse candidate” and said that the only way to win is to “not be afraid of Donald Trump” and that “we also have to articulate a different vision.”
Hurd joins a crowded primary field with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence, Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, radio host Larry Elder and Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, in addition to Trump.
Hurd said Thursday that he would not pardon Trump if the former president is convicted in the federal documents case, and he called many of the other Republican White House candidates who rushed to say they would “insane” to make that promise so early in the case.
Most of the Republican candidates in the race are trying to run more against Biden than against Trump, who largely remains popular among GOP voters. But Hurd joins a RINO herd with Christie and Hutchinson in MAGA bashing.
Hurd opted not to seek reelection to the House in 2020, saying then that he preferred to “pursue opportunities outside the halls of Congress to solve problems at the nexus between technology and national security.” Last year, he traveled the country on a tour to promote his book, American Reboot: An Idealist’s Guide to Getting Big Things Done.
Hurd’s entering the race keeps alive Texas’ longest-in-the-nation streak of having at least one presidential major candidate who rose to public prominence in the state or lived there while running for or holding office. The last time Texas didn’t have a major presidential hopeful was 1972.
Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press