Okla. Gov. Kevin Stitt: GOP Can Still Be ‘2 or 3-Horse Race’

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt, an early supporter of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination, said he will rally behind former President Donald Trump if Trump secures the party’s nomination. Speaking with Newsmax’s “Wake Up America,” Stitt predicted the current strong lead Trump holds in GOP primaries could see shifts as early voting states like Iowa and New Hampshire cast their ballots.

“Much hinges on what happens in Iowa and New Hampshire. These early contests could be pivotal in shaping the race,” Stitt explained during a unique in-studio conversation in New York. “Once we pass Super Tuesday in March, we’ll get a clearer picture. At this point, other candidates have yet to make a national impact.”

He suggested that the Republican primary would be wide open if someone other than Trump takes Iowa, potentially consolidating the field to a two- or three-candidate race. 

Stitt was the first sitting governor to endorse DeSantis’ effort to become the Republican Party’s frontrunner. “My endorsement of DeSantis came from observing his steadfast leadership, particularly during the pandemic,” he said, affirming his friendship with the Florida governor. “We need a leader who won’t buckle under pressure and can serve for eight years.”

However, Stitt clarified that his support isn’t limited to DeSantis: “I’ll back whoever becomes the GOP nominee. That’s the beauty of American democracy, having a vibrant debate of ideas.”

During his time in New York, where international leaders gathered for the U.N. General Assembly, Stitt also took the opportunity to highlight Oklahoma’s energy capabilities. He praised DeSantis’s aim to return to “$2 gasoline” and emphasized the importance of “energy independence” policies.

“In Oklahoma, we’re a key player in oil, natural gas, and even wind energy,” he added. “Energy security is tantamount to national security. With the geopolitical tensions we see, such as Russia’s aggression in Ukraine affecting Europe, America must prioritize energy independence.”

Stitt criticized Democratic policies, arguing they contribute to rising energy costs. “We don’t need to tilt the scales with incentives,” he stated. “Oklahoma has valuable rare-earth minerals, and we can provide what the U.S. needs without relying on foreign countries like China.”

He concluded by calling for affordable energy options and criticizing policies that force specific types of energy. “We need a cost-effective grid. Let’s not dictate what kind of cars Americans should drive or where we get our energy. That just elevates costs and puzzles people, especially when we’re importing oil from nations that aren’t necessarily our allies.”