Trump finally announced his presidential aspirations on Tuesday, November 15, despite his numerous attacks on the integrity of the US voting system after his 2020 defeat.
He announced the bid on what will become his third consecutive presidential run at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida. He got a jump on potential Republican rivals and made it known that he thought of himself as the only worthy Republican candidate for the 2024 presidential election.
Speaking at a press conference, Trump said that the Washington establishment wanted to silence the Republicans, but he would not allow them to.
Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Senator and one of Trump’s most loyal supporters, was thrilled by the announcement and seemed happy to let the former president declare himself as the Republican party’s chosen candidate in the upcoming face-off against President Joe Biden.
According to Graham, Trump would be well on his way to the White House once again if he consistently delivered the message he gave during his speech, which included many contrasting policies against President Biden’s administration. He said Trump’s message would be the start of a winning path to Trump’s return to Washington.
Trump’s announcement and his subsequent speech did not win over all the Republicans. Many thought that Trump’s 2024 bid would end in a lost election for Republicans, just like in 2020 when he lost the popular vote by millions.
The concerns of these Republicans against a Trump candidacy are considered valid, as the results from the midterm elections held last week in the US showed that Trump’s once vibrant popularity has dwindled. Many candidates that Trump had endorsed were defeated by Democrats, with most of the Republican candidates who had stood by Trump during his lies about the 2020 election fraud performing poorly.
Mick Mulvaney, former Acting Chief of Staff during Trump’s administration, took to Twitter to express his opinion on the announcement. He wrote that Trump needed to become an independent candidate and capture the votes of “independent/swing” voters. He said that failure to do so would result in the same fate as the midterm candidates he had endorsed, who won a primary but lost the general elections.
Trump’s announcement on Tuesday did not go as well as he expected with the media either, with some right-leaning news outlets like the New York Post publishing news of the announcement on Wednesday in a less than supportive way. The newspaper’s headline on Wednesday was “Florida Man Makes Announcement.”
Many former Trump supporters have shifted their support to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who has been teasing with the idea of joining the 2024 presidential race. After DeSantis’ win last week for governor, the New York Post’s headline praised him, calling him the future of the Republican Party.
Several Republican lawmakers have been outspoken about wanting the party to get a fresh start with a new leader. Republican Senator Cynthia Lummis also called Governor Ron DeSantis the new leader of the Republican Party.
Trump will seek his party’s nomination against DeSantis even as he faces several legal battles, including a congressional subpoena for the January 6, 2021 probe and a criminal investigation relating to government records while he was still president.
If Trump wins the Republican ticket, he will most likely face President Biden again in 2024, as just last week, Biden announced his intentions to run for re-election.