Miami’s Mayor Francis Suarez says he’s running for president against Trump in 2024


(NEW YORK) — Miami Mayor Francis Suarez announced on Thursday morning he is running for president, challenging former President Donald Trump for the Republican nomination.

Suarez told co-anchor George Stephanopoulos in an exclusive interview on ABC News’ Good Morning America that he represents “generational change,” but he repeatedly avoided answering about Trump’s indictment or whether the former president had done anything wrong.

“This isn’t about me. This isn’t about my generation. This is about our children,” Suarez said.

The 45-year-old mayor filed paperwork on Wednesday declaring his candidacy for president, making him the third candidate from Florida to jump into the race and the only Latino GOP candidate in the field.

For months, Suarez has publicly said he’s thinking about running for president and has taken every significant action indicating that he would jump into the race, including visiting early nominating states such as Iowa and New Hampshire and on Thursday night, he will give remarks at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, a vital stop for anyone either running or considering a presidential run.

The mayor’s national profile has increased over the past few months, most recently this week in Miami on Tuesday where Suarez led the city during Trump’s arraignment.

He was even in the courtroom, where Trump pleaded not guilty to 37 criminal counts related to his handling of classified materials, after prosecutors said he repeatedly refused to return hundreds of documents containing classified information ranging from U.S. nuclear secrets to the nation’s defense capabilities.

When asked repeatedly where he stood on Trump’s indictment, Suarez responded, “I think if we continue to have a conversation about the former president, then the former president will be the nominee.”

When asked again what he thought of the indictment, Suarez said that it makes Republicans feel that “there isn’t an equal administration of justice.”

“I think the fact that we’re in a presidential campaign, and we’re seeing a former president be indicted multiple times, is something that Republicans view as partisan and problematic in a country like ours in a democracy,” Suarez said.

When pressed by Stephanopoulos if he had read Trump’s indictment documents, Suarez pivoted, focusing on former Vice President Mike Pence and President Joe Biden’s handling of classified documents.

“But if I were the former vice president and then the current president, I wouldn’t have stored classified documents in my in my garage either,” Suarez said. “The former vice president under the former president also had issues related to classified.”

Stephanopoulos pushed back against Suarez’s statement, saying that Pence and Biden turned over the classified documents that were in their possession, whereas Trump did not.

When asked if Trump’s behavior in handling classified documents were reckless, Suarez responded by saying conversations surrounding the indictment of the former president aren’t “healthy” for the country.

“We should be talking about the issues that Americans care about; we shouldn’t be talking about, you know, candidates being indicted,” Suarez said.

“If my candidacy is going to be about responding to the things that former President Trump did, then there’s not going to be much of a candidacy for me or any other Republican [candidate],” he said.

With the first Republican primary debate in August, one of the requirements to participate includes agreeing to support the eventual nominee. When asked by Stephanopoulos if he would support Trump as the nominee, Suarez said yes.

“I think every single Republican candidate who wants to be on debates has to pledge to support the nominee and I will do that as well,” Suarez said.

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