Florida – 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.
“This will not be my campaign, this will be our campaign all together,” Trump said.
His 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. (CNN)