Things Are Heating Up in Indiana Over Open Senate Seat

( – On last Tuesday’s Fox and Friends, Rep. Jim Banks announced his bid for the open Senate seat in Indiana that will be vacated by GOP Sen. Mike Braun who will not be seeking re-election for the Senate in order to run for governor instead.

Banks may have a pretty good shot of winning, especially if he receives the endorsement of Former President Donald Trump, with whom he met recently and informed of his decision to run for Senate. Banks told Fox News that he’s “a big fan of President Trump… what he’s done for our country [and] the Republican Party.” Trump won the state of Indiana by fairly wide margins in 2016 as well as 2020, so backing a conservative candidate for the open Senate seat will help maintain his popularity there.

A rival for Banks has emerged in Mitch Daniels, former Indiana governor, who has expressed interest in the Indiana Senate seat. Before even announcing an official bid, though, the former president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., already started slinging mud in his direction. Last week, Trump Jr. tweeted, “The Establishment is trying to recruit RINO Mitch Daniels to run for US Senate in Indiana. The same Mitch Daniels who agreed with Joe Biden that millions of MAGA Republicans are supposedly a danger to the country & trying to ‘subvert democracy.’ He would be Mitt Romney 2.0.”

One of Daniels’ friends and advisers, Mark Lubbers (who has heavily criticized Trump) responded to Trump Jr. on Thursday, calling his tweet “an ambush.” He also said they “didn’t have any interest in picking a fight with the Trump folks.” He went on to tell Fox News that the election could have been “enlightening” and “happened in a civic spirited way,” and that although they didn’t pick the fight, Daniels and his people are “not candy a**es.”

Lubbers also said that trying to portray Daniels as “not conservative” is “absurd,” and a race between Banks and Daniels as one between establishment Republicans and Trump Republicans is a “false division,” calling for more unity in order to focus on having conservatives win elections against the progressive left rather than merely fight them.

Fox News appears to be drumming up the impression that the battle between these two personalities over an Indiana Senate seat represents a wider “civil war” within the Republican party.

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