Miami Mayor Francis Suarez (R) said he is “close” to deciding whether to run for the GOP nomination for the 2024 presidential election. 

Suarez said in an interview on Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends” on Thursday that any candidate who wants to run for the Republican nomination needs to have declared before the first GOP debate in August. 

“I’m close to making a decision because, you know, Aug. 20 is the first debate. I think any candidate who wants to run for president needs to be on that stage,” he said. 

Suarez said Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel is “doing a tremendous job” of giving a diverse group of candidates an opportunity to be on the stage and creating a competitive primary. 

He said he has seen former President Trump and potential GOP candidates like former Vice President Mike Pence and New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu speak, adding that they are part of a “very talented bench” from the Republican Party. 

Suarez said he is comfortable with being a “retail politician” and talking directly to people. He said he has recently visited New Hampshire, Iowa, South Carolina and Nevada — four states that vote early during the primary and caucus season. 

Suarez has been considering a run for the presidency for more than a year. He said in 2021 that he was not ruling out a run for the presidency, arguing that the country is “thirsting” for new and younger leadership in the White House. 

He said on Thursday that younger leadership matters in regard to a “hyper competitive landscape” in which China is becoming a greater threat and technologies like artificial intelligence and quantum computing are becoming more prominent. 

“I think in terms of the former president, I really believe in generational leadership. And I don’t mean that as a buzz word. I think a lot of candidates are throwing that around as a buzz word,” he said. 

“We need public officials that understand these technologies, understand how to take advantage of these opportunities and also how to regulate them for our country’s benefit,” Suarez continued.