Trump announces 2024 presidential campaign
The former president said he will be running for control of the White House again
Former President Donald Trump announced Tuesday at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, his intent to try to again snag the nation's highest office in 2024.
The Republican, who has refused to accept he was legitimately defeated in 2020, told his supporters during the event: "America's come back starts right now."
Glorifying his former presidency, Trump said that while he was in office "everybody was thriving like never before" and that inflation was non-existent.
Trump said that he is running again because America is "in decline" and has "been brought to its knees" under Joe Biden's administration. He reiterated many of the promises made during past campaigns, such as beefing up border security, reducing the country's dependence on China, and giving police more authority to stop what he described as "bloodshed" in American streets.
"I will make sure that Joe Biden does not receive four more years," said Trump.
While Trump was less outspoken about his claims of a rigged 2020 election than in previous speeches, he did say that he plans on changing what he views as a “corrupt system” by allowing only paper ballots and ensuring all votes are counted by the end of Election Night.
Opponents of another Trump presidency The Lincoln Project — a political action committee formed in 2019 by current and former Republicans, responded to the announcement by saying they are ready to defeat him a second time.
“In 2020, a unique coalition came together to defeat Donald Trump. Today, we stand ready to help lead the fight against him, partnering with any and all pro-democracy, patriotic Americans and organizations committed to this fight. It is no less than the battle for our time," the group said in a press release.
Although expected, Trump's announcement came earlier than anticipated as many Republicans advised him to wait until after the Senate runoff in Georgia on Dec. 6.
During his speech, Trump prompted people to vote in that race for his handpicked candidate and former football player Herschel Walker, who was about one point shy in the midterms of incumbent Democrat Raphael Warnock, who overturned the Republican seat in 2021.
Many Republicans are pulling away from Trump, as their party failed to gain control of the Senate with many of his endorsed candidates and fellow 2020 election deniers losing crucial races.
In Michigan, Arizona and Nevada, candidates who backed Trump's claims of the 2020 election being rigged against him lost their bids for secretary of state last Tuesday.
One of his biggest supporters, Doug Mastriano, lost Pennsylvania's governor race. And in Wisconsin and Georgia, Trump-endorsed candidates lost in the primaries to Republicans who steered away from his unfounded election fraud rhetoric.
Even his former assistant and White House Communications Director Alyssa Farah Griffin called Trump a "loser" last week and said the Republican Party needs to admit that in order to finally "thrive."
"The fact that he chose candidates who themselves were flawed to endorse in some of these races has really frustrated some Republicans and led them to question his political judgments," said David Hopkins, a political science professor at Boston College.
But Hopkins says the next presidential race is highly unpredictable, as voters might not share the same frustrations as Republican officials when choosing their nominees.
"One of the things we've seen over the last couple months and especially in the last week has been the movement towards consolidation around Ron DeSantis among elite Republicans who don't want Trump to be the nominee again," said Hopkins.
"It seems likely that the next year of Republican politics is going to be dominated by a battle between Trump and the various anti-trump forces in the party," he added.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is predicted to also be a powerful Republican contender for the 2024 presidential race after winning a second term by a landslide. As Trump is no longer the new face and outsider contender, DeSantis may appeal to Republican voters looking for a revival as he shares similar conservative ideological policies and a campaign packed with a "vote-fraud squad."
"In some ways Trump is in a stronger position because he's already shown that he can win and has already shown that he's sort of been true to the conservative cause and those were the two main questions against him the first time he ran," Hopkins said.
And there is still a prominent group of Trump supporters with an unyielding devotion to him, that praise his "fight against the establishment" and continue to echo his discredited accusations of Joe Biden usurping his presidency," Hopkins added.
Some of those supporters gathered outside of the Trump Tower in Manhattan on Tuesday afternoon, waving MAGA flags while stomping on a DeSantis campaign poster and chanting, "Trump or Death."
"God made the lion to be in charge of a pride. That's how it works. One male gets to grow a big mane and be king of the jungle. That's how it works and so right now that king is Donald Trump. That is unequivocal," said Benny Johnson on his widely followed conservative web show.
Trump's early rollout of his next presidential endeavor could possibly be an attempt to make the multiple legal probes surrounding him appear to be politically motivated, even though they are all already very far along in their investigations.
While Trump was less outspoken about his claims of a rigged 2020 election than in previous speeches, he did say that he plans on changing the “corrupt system” by enacting only paper ballots and ensuring all votes are counted by election night.
And while a bid for presidency doesn't protect him from potentially very serious criminal charges for inciting an insurrection, attempting to overturn Georgia's election results, removing classified documents from the White House or business fraud — charges against him won't immediately disqualify his ability to run.
It isn't unprecedented for an incarcerated person to run for president. Eugene V. Debs did so from an Atlanta Federal Penitentiary in 1920, where he was held for speaking out against the draft during World War I. Although Debs managed to gather 913,693 votes, he received no electoral votes.