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Former Representative Mike Rogers is considering the White House bid and believes Trump has less support than the polls show

Former Rep. Mike Rogers, who served as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, is spending the next two months deciding whether he should run for president, and the Michigan Republican says the prospect of facing former President Donald Trump will not deter him.

“Whether or not a candidate has declared will determine my decision to run in the spring or fall,” the Michigan Republican told CBS Elections and Campaign Reporter Robert Costa Thursday. “Whichever the candidate is, I think presenting real ideas and innovation will win the day. I think people are tired of that biting talk about politics and name-naming.”

Rogers, who has confirmed he will likely make a decision in May or June, visited some early voting primary states, such as New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina. He told Costa he had been spending time with small groups of people asking what they thought of the country’s future.

“Nobody says, ‘Hey, what about Donald Trump?’” Rogers said. He opined that individual voters are “in a different place” than national elections. “The former president’s numbers are dropping among voters,” he said.

“People are tired of the chaos,” Rogers said, adding, “I think they’re ready for calm, steady leadership, as we make progress on issues that we’ve admired for 10, 15, 20 years and can’t quite come to a conclusion.”

He also wouldn’t commit to supporting Trump if he won the Czech Republic’s nomination. (Costa’s interview with Rogers took place Thursday afternoon, hours before the announcement of the former president’s indictment.) When asked, he replied, “I can’t believe today as I sit here that Donald Trump is going to be the Republican nominee in 2024. Don’t believe.” “I think the candidate may not have announced yet that he will be our candidate in 2024,” he predicted.

So far, there are only two major candidates in the incumbent GOP field: Trump and former US ambassador to the United Nations and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. There are more Republicans who say they will make up their minds about running in the coming months, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Both Trump and Trump have adopted an isolationist “America First” approach to foreign policy. DeSantis recently referred to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a “territorial dispute,” which runs counter to Rogers’ traditionally more hawkish perspective. He told Costa, “If you’re asking if I believe in standing up for peace in the world, I certainly do.”

He expressed some reservations about the foreign policy background of some candidates who may compete for the Republican nomination next year.

“Engagement is important,” he said. “And one of the reasons I worry about the pool of candidates we have today is a lack of understanding of the complexities of our national security threats, not just from cyberspace, but now from military space… I’m talking about the Chinese Communist Party and Russia and Iran seeking to do the same.” He continued, apparently referring to DeSantis’ characterization of the Russian invasion, “It’s not well thought out about what’s going on and how the world is changing under our feet and how these players want to be the dominant players in the future.”

Rogers sounded a lot like the candidate improving his bid for the presidency in his conversation with Costa, and he gave this response when asked what his short introduction to people in these early voting situations was, and his reasons for considering the White House mooted:

America needs something different, number one. Rarely will you have a candidate who has experience fixing challenging problems in the federal government, as well as experience in business, and solid hands-on experience in the new generation of positions. Wouldn’t it be great if we could integrate this person and make them a candidate? Honestly, I think that’s exactly what gets me in the door—and more importantly, people calling me back and, more importantly, hearing solutions.

Grace Kazarian contributed to this report.

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