Former President Trump declared Tuesday night that he will seek the Republican candidacy in 2024.
Trump announced his candidacy at Mar-a-Lago, his Florida resort, where his campaign would be based.
Trump made a quiet address filled with false and inflated claims about his four years in government. Despite a controversial presidency and his part in provoking an attack on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, Trump sought to induce nostalgia for his first term, comparing his successes with the Biden administration’s policies and the present economic condition. Many of these claimed achievements, including tight immigration policies, business tax cuts, and religious freedom programmes, remain divisive.
Trump told Republicans who anticipate him to face primary rivals in the coming months that the party can’t choose “a politician or conventional candidate” if it wants to retake the White House.
Trump stated, “This isn’t my campaign, it’s ours.”
Trump’s long-awaited campaign comes as he seeks to retake the limelight following the GOP’s dismal midterm election performance and the attendant blame game. Republicans failed to achieve a Senate majority, failed to fill numerous statewide seats, and have yet to secure a House majority, with just 215 contests called in their favour so far out of the 218 needed, forcing Trump and other party leaders into a defensive posture as they face internal criticism.
Trump’s candidacy paperwork arrived at the FEC before his Mar-a-Lago announcement.
To the pleasure of advisers and friends who have encouraged him to run a forward-looking campaign, he spent barely a portion of his speech reiterating 2020 electoral falsehoods. Trump argued for paper ballots and compared America’s election system to “third world countries,” but he also lamented Washington’s “vast corruption” and “entrenched interests.” Many of Trump’s senior aides worry that his preoccupation on spreading election theories could hurt him in 2024.
Trump made it plain that he wants Republicans to view his campaign as a sacrifice.
“Anyone who actually attempts to take on this rigged and dishonest system will be greeted with a hurricane of fire that only a handful could understand,” he stated.
Trump is blamed for boosting defective candidates who parroted his election fraud accusations, alienating important voters and resulting to their defeats. He tried to address that critique on Tuesday, noting that Republicans look ready to recapture the House majority and promoting one Trump-endorsed candidate, Kevin Kiley of California. Trump blamed his party’s election result on people not recognising “the complete consequence of pain” after two years of Democratic dominance in Washington.
“By 2024, it will be far worse, they’ll witness what’s happening to our country, and voting will be different,” he said.
Aides say Trump hopes his early start will stave off primary competitors and give him an early lead with contributors. Conservative and moderate Republicans are anticipated to fight him, though their thinking may alter now that he’s running. Others, like Mike Pence, may continue.
Trump’s third presidential candidacy coincides with heightened legal jeopardy as Justice Department investigators investigate him and his aides. The former president is being probed for his actions before and during the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol and for keeping confidential materials at Mar-a-Lago after leaving office. Trump is depending on his base’s support to help him win the GOP nominee, but his decision is sure to disappoint party officials who wanted new blood. Top Republicans are watching Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who won reelection with a 19-point margin with minority and independent backing. Some Republican officials may try to sabotage Trump’s candidacy by promoting alternative candidates, including DeSantis, who is discreetly preparing for a White House run.
Any effort to block Trump’s nomination will be difficult. Despite his legal entanglements and the stain of January 6, the twice-impeached 45th president remains popular with most Republican voters and has a profound connection with his core supporters that might be hard to recreate or reduce. Even leading conservatives who disliked Trump’s pugnacious politics and heterodox policies stuck with him as president because he helped solidify the US Supreme Court’s rightward shift with his nominations. This resulted in the conservative court majority’s June decision to end federal abortion rights. Trump concluded his first term with the lowest popularity rating of any president, but Republicans liked him. This might offer Trump an advantage over primary opponents voters are still learning about.
Pence, who has great name recognition as vice president, is a possible rival. Pence, who has been planning for a 2024 White House bid, would face an uphill task attracting Trump’s most faithful followers, many of whom turned on him after he failed to overstep his legislative power and stop Biden’s 2020 triumph. Trump might potentially face DeSantis, a conservative hero and a more polished version of Trump. Some of the former president’s aides told CNN that DeSantis established contacts with large Republican donors during his reelection campaign and gained goodwill with GOP leaders by advocating for federal and statewide Republican candidates.
The House select committee continues to examine Trump’s participation in January 6, 2021, and Justice Department officials ponder criminal charges. The committee, which subpoenaed him for testimony and documents in October and which Trump is battling in court, held public hearings throughout the summer and early fall featuring depositions from Trump’s inner circle at the White House – including members of his family – that detailed his public and private efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results through a sustained pressure campaign on local, state, and federal officials, and on the media.
Trump’s desire to declare early can be related to the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago, which aides say empowered him to stage a political comeback. The day following the search, associates advised the former president to speed up 2024. That night, he informed House Republicans in the Republican Study Committee he’d “made up his mind” to run, but they encouraged him to wait until after the midterms to announce.
Few of these politicians attended Trump’s address on Tuesday, opting to stay in Washington as House Republicans held leadership elections and the party grappled with midterm election losses. The room was full with election sceptics including MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, Trump’s attorneys, and staff. Before he entered the room on Tuesday with former first lady Melania Trump, numerous members of the ex-family president’s were spotted entering, including Eric and Lara Trump, his son Barron, his son-in-law Jared Kushner, and Donald Trump Jr.’s fiancee Kimberly Guilfoyle. Son and daughter Ivanka were gone. Trump advisor Roger Stone, departing North Carolina Rep. Madison Cawthorn, former congressman and CEO of Trump’s Truth Social app Devin Nunes, and his main political strategist Susie Wiles also attended.
Trump began scheming a comeback to power as soon as he left Washington in January 2021, beaten and disgraced. He spent much of his time developing a political apparatus for this moment. With help from former staffers and advisers, he maintained the aggressive fundraising techniques of his 2020 campaign, accumulating a gigantic war chest before the 2022 midterm elections and working to elect stalwart friends in Congress and state legislatures around the country.
While keeping a home base in Florida, he jetted throughout the country for campaign rallies that gave him face time with his base and politicians he hoped would become friends in the Senate and House.
Trump erroneously insisted that the 2020 election was stolen from him, engaging in conspiracy theories about voter fraud and lobbying Republican leaders to reduce voting rights.
Trump’s advisors were happy early this autumn when his public appearances and rally speeches increasingly focused on rising crime, immigration, and economic concerns — crucial themes throughout the election season. They think he can establish a strong contrast with Biden as he enters this next stage. Allies of the former president say he sees 2024 as a chance to recover another four years in the Oval Office.
Trump won’t automatically win a second term, though. It’s challenging.
No impeached president has ever ran for office again. Grover Cleveland was impeached in 1888 and re-elected in 1892. Trump was impeached in 2019 and 2021 for abusing power and obstructing justice. 10 House Republicans split with their party the second time to vote to impeach him. Seven Republican senators voted to convict him.
Trump has also been the subject of lawsuits and investigations, including a New York state investigation and a Manhattan district attorney criminal probe into his company’s finances, a Georgia county probe into his efforts to overturn Biden’s election win in the state, and separate Justice Department probes into his campaign’s scheme to put forward fake electors in battleground states and his decision to bring classified materials to Mar-a-Lago.
Trump’s actions since leaving Washington have suggested a comeback. Trump followed precedent by plotting a comeback, rather than retiring quietly to help his party in midterm elections or open his presidential library. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property has become a home headquarters for his political operation despite its distance from Washington. With the help of a tiny staff, he has hosted several campaign and committee fundraisers and seen a rotating cast of party officials and congressional aspirants pass through its golden corridors. Trump’s itinerary has allowed him to cultivate ties with party officials and fringe individuals, like as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia. Their support in a heated primary might help him clear the field. Many of the advisers who have been with him since he left the White House are anticipated to stay as campaign hands. The former president and his de facto chief of staff, experienced Florida GOP strategist Wiles, seek to retain a lean operation similar to his 2016 presidential campaign. Wiles, Taylor Budowich, Chris LaCivita, Steven Cheung, Justin Caperole, and Brian Jack may participate. Brad Parscale, who handled part of Trump’s disastrous 2020 campaign, won’t be engaged in 2024, nor will Jared Kushner.
As president, Trump attracted criticism for some of his policies, including his management of the largest public health catastrophe in almost a century — the Covid-19 outbreak – though his government helped produce vaccinations in record time. He was criticised for his handling of Hurricane Maria, which ravaged Puerto Rico in 2017; the White supremacist demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017; and Black Lives Matter marches.
Trump passed substantial tax cuts into law, adopted contentious hard-line immigration policies, including a programme that separated migrant children from their families, and selected hundreds of federal judges with solid conservative credentials. He also picked three Supreme Court justices whose rulings this year altered American society and laws on abortion, weapons, religious freedom, and climate change.
The former real estate magnate and reality TV celebrity was first elected in 2016, wiping out more than a dozen GOP opponents in an ugly primary and then defeating Hillary Clinton in a heated general election despite sexual misconduct claims that would have generally ended a campaign.
Trump was an impetuous leader who routinely announced policy and Cabinet changes on Twitter. After the US Capitol riot, he was banned from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.
He pushed an “America First” foreign policy, pulling the US out of the Paris climate accord and the Iran nuclear deal, moves decried by many of America’s top European allies.
Updated with new information.
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