Barrasso First In Senate Leadership To Endorse Trump

U.S. Sen. John Barrasso became the first member of Republican Senate leadership to endorse former President Donald Trump on Tuesday evening in his bid for president, saying the country was better off when Trump was president.

Leo Wolfson

January 10, 20244 min read

Former President Donald Trump, left, and U.S. Sen. John Barrasso.
Former President Donald Trump, left, and U.S. Sen. John Barrasso. (Getty Images)

Wyoming U.S. Sen. John Barrasso has made his pick for president and the name is Trump.

Barrasso announced in a Tuesday evening press release that he’s endorsing former President Donald Trump for the 2024 election because, “America was better off under President Donald Trump’s leadership.

“Working with Republicans in Congress, President Trump created the strongest economy of a generation, secured our southern border against a lawless drug and crime invasion, and made America an energy dominant superpower,” he added.

Barrasso’s endorsement is significant as he is the first and only member of Republican Senate leadership to endorse Trump so far. He’s the Republican Conference chairman, which makes Barrasso the No. 3 ranking Republican in the Senate.

Barrasso also has consistently criticized President Joe Biden’s handling of the economy, immigration and other issues, and on Tuesday continued, saying Biden’s policies and “low expectations” have fallen short compared to what Trump orchestrated. He said Americans can’t afford another four years of Biden.

“Biden administration policies have plunged America into decline,” he said.

Key Endorsement

Many have speculated that Barrasso may run to replace U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell as Republican leader in the Senate, and he hasn’t ruled out that possibility.

If Trump wins the presidency, getting his backing would be an important asset for Barrasso in seeking the leadership position.

“President Trump and a new conservative-led Senate partnership will restore American greatness,” Barrasso said. “That means putting freedom ahead of government power and economic strength over government subsidies. It means putting affordable, available, reliable American energy and American energy workers back on top.”

Trump thanked Barrasso for his endorsement on Truth Social on Tuesday night, which Barrasso officially announced on Fox News' "Hannity" show.

"To know John is to both like and respect him, an extraordinary man," Trump posted. "THANK YOU JOHN!!!"

During an early 2023 radio interview, he criticized Barrasso as a “flunky” and “rubber stamp” for McConnell.

McConnell, who has consistently been at odds with Trump, hasn’t endorsed any candidate for president. One of Barrasso’s leading competitors for Senate leader, South Dakota Sen. John Thune, endorsed South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott for president before Scott dropped out of the race last November.

Texas Sen. John Cornyn, Barrasso’s other leading competitor, hasn’t endorsed any candidate in the 2024 race.

No Lummis Endorsement

Barrasso’s endorsement comes about 11 months after U.S. Rep. Harriet Hageman announced hers for Trump. This leaves Wyoming Sen. Cynthia Lummis as the only remaining member of the congressional delegation to not yet endorse a candidate in the 2024 race.

Lummis has said she’s unlikely to endorse a candidate for the Republican primary. She did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether this has changed.

Lummis drew attention in late 2022 when she said she views Florida governor and presidential candidate Ron DeSantis as the leader of the Republican Party. Last May, she clarified her position a bit that although she still finds DeSantis to be the leader of the party and the designer of its platform, this does not take away from the fact she views Trump as the leading Republican candidate for president.

The Wyoming Democratic Party criticized Barrasso’s endorsement in a social media post on Wednesday.

“Apparently, all it takes to get an endorsement for president from John Barrasso is to tank the economy, explode the deficit and incite a violent insurrection,” the party posted.

Leo Wolfson can be reached at

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Leo Wolfson

Politics and Government Reporter