Trump’s 2024 rivals largely rush to his defense after Colorado court ruling

Republican presidential candidates were quick to lend their support to Donald Trump on Tuesday after the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that the former president was disqualified from the state’s 2024 primary ballot.

Former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie all criticized the court’s decision, arguing that judges should not play a role in the election process.

“I will beat him fair and square. We don’t need to have judges making these decisions,” Haley told reporters. “We need voters to make these decisions.”

“The last thing we want is judges telling us who can and can’t be on the ballot,” she added.

DeSantis bashed the ruling on X and said the U.S. Supreme Court should reverse the decision.

“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,” he wrote.

Christie, a frequent Trump critic, also disagreed with the court’s decision, though he said he couldn’t comment on the opinion because he hadn’t read it yet.

“I do not believe Donald Trump should be prevented from being president of the United States by any court,” he said during a town hall event. “I think he should be prevented from being president of the United States by the voters of this country.”

In a post on X, Ramaswamy condemned the court’s decision and said the country “is becoming unrecognizable to our Founding Fathers.”

He pledged to withdraw from the Colorado Republican primary unless Trump is allowed to stay on the ballot, urging the other major candidates to do the same.

“I demand that Ron DeSantis, Chris Christie, and Nikki Haley to do the same immediately — or else they are tacitly endorsing this illegal maneuver which will have disastrous consequences for our country,” he added.

The lone voice of dissent among White House hopefuls came from former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, whose campaign has been plagued by consistent low polling.

“The Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling barring Donald Trump from the presidential ballot is what I raised as a concern in the first presidential debate in Milwaukee,” Hutchinson said in a statement. “The factual finding that he supported by insurrection will haunt his candidacy.”

A Trump campaign spokesperson indicated Tuesday night that the former president and GOP front-runner in the polls would appeal the Colorado ruling to the Supreme Court.

“We have full confidence that the U.S. Supreme Court will quickly rule in our favor and finally put an end to these unAmerican lawsuits,” said spokesperson Steven Cheung in a statement.