A Crowd of Possible Trump Rivals Renews G.O.P. Fears of a Divided Field


LAS VEGAS — The first auditions for the role of leading Trump alternative consumed the Venetian hotel over the weekend, onstage and off, as nearly a dozen Republican potential presidential candidates tested their strategies and messages days after the former president declared his 2024 candidacy.

Senator Ted Cruz aggressively worked one ballroom filled with activists and donors, taking selfies and staying for handshakes for so long the linens had already been cleared. Mike Pompeo, Donald Trump’s former secretary of state, distanced himself further from his old boss, saying that “personality, celebrity, just aren’t going to get it done.” Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland, a longtime Trump critic, welcomed other Republicans now calling out Mr. Trump as an electoral “loser.” And Gov. Ron DeSantis delivered a keynote address that outlined how his success in Florida could be a…

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