Former President Donald Trump announces a White House bid for 2024
By Gabby Orr, Kristen Holmes and Veronica Stracqualursi, CNN
Former President Donald Trump, aiming to become only the second commander-in-chief ever elected to two nonconsecutive terms, announced Tuesday night that he will seek the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.
“In order to make America great and glorious again, I am tonight announcing my candidacy for president of the United States,” Trump told a crowd gathered at Mar-a-Lago, his waterfront estate in Florida, where his campaign will be headquartered.
Surrounded by allies, advisers, and conservative influencers, the 45th president vowed to run a campaign that will “bring people together,” claiming the Republican Party cannot afford to nominate “a politician or conventional candidate” if it wants to reclaim the White House two years from now.https://2fc7487659578b734e7719b2716b8ab3.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-40/html/container.html?n=0
“This will not be my campaign, this will be our campaign all together,” Trump said.
Trump’s long-awaited campaign comes as he tries to reclaim the spotlight following the GOP’s underwhelming midterm elections performance — including the losses of several Trump-endorsed election deniers — and the subsequent blame game that has unfolded since Election Day. Republicans failed to gain a Senate majority, came up short in their efforts to fill several statewide seats, and have yet to secure a House majority, with only 215 races called in their favor so far out of the 218 needed, developments that have forced Trump and other party leaders into a defensive posture as they face reproval from within their ranks.
Trump’s paperwork establishing his candidacy landed with the Federal Election Committee shortly before he delivered his announcement at Mar-a-Lago.
To the delight of aides and allies who have long advised him to mount a forward-looking campaign, Trump did not harp much on his lies about the 2020 election in his remarks Tuesday. Rather, he framed this moment as a battle against “massive corruption” and “entrenched interests.” Many of Trump’s top advisers have expressed concern that his fixation on promoting conspiracies about the last presidential election would make it harder for him to win a national election in 2024.
On the heels of last week’s midterm elections, Trump has been blamed for elevating flawed candidates who spent too much time parroting his claims about election fraud, alienating key voters and ultimately leading to their defeats. He attempted to counter that criticism on Tuesday, noting that Republicans appear poised to retake the House majority and touting at least one Trump-endorsed candidate, Kevin Kiley of California. At one point, Trump appeared to blame his party’s midterm performance on voters not yet realizing “the total effect of the suffering” after two years of Democratic control in Washington.
“I have no doubt that by 2024, it will sadly be much worse and they will see clearly what has happened and is happening to our country — and the voting will be much different,” he claimed.
Beating others to the punch
Trump is betting that his first-out-of-the gate strategy will fend off potential primary rivals and give him an early advantage with deep-pocketed donors, aides say. He is widely expected to be challenged by both conservative and moderate Republicans, though the calculus of some presidential hopefuls could change now that he is running. Others — like his former Vice President, Mike Pence — may proceed anyway.
Facebook reminds fact-checkers Trump is off limits when he runs again for president
Trump’s third presidential bid also coincides with a period of heightened legal peril as Justice Department officials investigating him and his associates revisit the prospect of indictments in their Trump-related probes. The former president is currently being investigated for his activities before and during the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol and his retention of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate after he left office. While Trump is counting on an easy path to the GOP nomination with his sustained support among the party’s base, his announcement is likely to dash the hopes of party leaders who have longed for fresh talent. In particular, top Republicans have been paying close attention to the next moves of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who won his reelection contest with a 19-point margin of victory and considerable support from minority and independent voters. Some Republican leaders may try to scuttle Trump’s campaign by elevating or encouraging alternative candidates, including DeSantis, who has been quietly laying the groundwork for a possible White House bid of his own.
Of course, any countereffort to inhibit Trump’s path to the nomination is likely to prove difficult. Despite his myriad legal entanglements and the stain of January 6, the twice-impeached 45th president remains immensely popular among most Republican voters and boasts a deep connection with his core backers that could prove difficult for other GOP hopefuls to replicate or weaken. Even leading conservatives who disliked Trump’s pugnacious politics and heterodox policies stuck with him as president because he helped solidify the rightward shift of the US Supreme Court with his nominations — one of the most far-reaching aspects of his legacy, which resulted in the conservative court majority’s deeply polarizing June decision to end federal abortion rights. In fact, while Trump ended his first term with the lowest approval rating of any president.
Republicans viewed him favorably, according to a May NBC News poll. That alone could give Trump a significant edge over primary opponents whom voters are still familiarizing themselves with.
Among those potential competitors is Pence, who would likely benefit from high name recognition due to his role as vice president. Pence, who has been preparing for a possible White House run in 2024, is sure to face an uphill battle courting Trump’s most loyal supporters, many of whom soured on the former vice president after he declined to overstep his congressional authority and block certification of now-President Joe Biden’s 2020 victory. Trump could also find himself pitted against DeSantis, who has risen to hero status among cultural conservatives and who is widely considered a more polished version of Trump. Even some of the former president’s advisers have voiced similar observations to CNN, noting that DeSantis also made inroads with major Republican donors during his quest for reelection and built a mountain of goodwill with GOP leaders by campaigning for federal and statewide Republican candidates in the middle of his own race.