9:50 p.m. ET, December 19, 2023
House speaker and other Republicans react to Colorado ruling to pull Trump off the state's ballot
House Speaker Mike Johnson, seen here on December12, issued a statement about the ruling.
Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP/FILE
Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel attacked the Colorado Supreme Court's decision to remove former President Donald Trump from the state's 2024 ballot
She called it "election interference" in a post to X
, and said the RNC's legal team "looks forward to helping fight for a victory."
House Speaker Mike Johnson said the ruling was "nothing but a thinly veiled partisan attack." He said voters should be able to decide the nominee.
"Regardless of political affiliation, every citizen registered to vote should not be denied the right to support our former president and the individual who is the leader in every poll of the Republican primary," Johnson said.
Candidates weigh in: GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy called the court's decision an “actual attack on democracy."
In a post on X
, Ramaswamy pledged to withdraw from the Colorado GOP primary unless Trump is allowed to be on the ballot. He called on other candidates to do the same, arguing, “or else they are tacitly endorsing this illegal maneuver which will have disastrous consequences for our country.”
“Today’s decision is the latest election interference tactic to silence political opponents and swing the election for whatever puppet the Democrats put up this time by depriving Americans of the right to vote for their candidate of choice,” he wrote.
Chris Christie would not comment directly on the decision since he said he had not yet read it. But he commented that, generally, he believes it would be "bad for the country" if Trump were kept off a ballot by a legal decision, adding there hasn't yet been a criminal trial proving Trump has incited an insurrection.
"But what I will say is this, I do not believe Donald Trump should be prevented from being president of the United States by any court. I think he should be prevented from being president of the United States by the voters in this country," he said.
Nikki Haley said ballot decisions shouldn't be left to the courts.
“We don’t need to have judges making these decisions, we need voters to make these decisions. So, I want to see this in the hands of the voters. We’re going to win this the right way. We’re going to do what we need to do, but the last thing we want is judges telling us who can and can’t be on the ballot,” Haley said.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis called on the US Supreme Court to reverse the Colorado ruling.
“The Left invokes ‘democracy’ to justify its use of power, even if it means abusing judicial power to remove a candidate from the ballot based on spurious legal grounds. SCOTUS should reverse,” DeSantis posted on X.
Several Trump allies expressed outrage at the ruling:
- Trump's former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Dr. Ben Carson claimed Colorado "decided to disenfranchise the people of their state by choosing to remove Donald Trump from the ballot."
- House GOP Chairwoman Elise Stefanik slammed the decision as "unprecedented, constant, and illegal election interference."
- Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, who campaigned for Trump in Iowa on Friday, asserted on X that the decision was exemplary of “what dictators do,” repeating a line used by the Trump campaign when fundraising off the court’s ruling.
- Arizona Senate candidate Kari Lake labeled the judges as “partisan,” calling the decision “HISTORIC election interference.”
The post was updated several times with more GOP reactions to the Colorado court ruling.