Donald Trump has announced that he will run again for President of the United States in 2024 despite multiple criminal investigations and the poor showing of candidates he supported in last week’s midterm elections.
Trump launched his candidacy — his third for president — Tuesday night at his home in Mar-a-Lago, Florida, a week after an election in which Republicans failed to win as many seats as they had hoped.
In a speech broadcast live on US television, Trump addressed hundreds of his supporters in a ballroom decorated with several chandeliers and flanked by dozens of American flags.
“In the interest of Making America Great Again, tonight I am announcing my candidacy for President of the United States,” the 76-year-old told the cheering crowd of donors and veteran supporters.
He said, “I run because I believe the world has yet to witness the true glory of what this nation can be.”
“Once again, we will put America first,” he added.
Earlier today, aides filed papers with the US Federal Election Commission to form a panel called “Donald J. Trump for President 2024.”
We still have a long way to go before the Republican presidential nominee is officially chosen in the summer of 2024 in the US, with the first statewide contests kicking off in over a year. Analysts believe Trump’s unusually early removal could be a good opportunity to fend off potential challengers for the party’s 2024 nomination, including rising star Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, 44, and Trump’s former Vice President Mike Pence, 63.
“He is ahead of other Republicans,” said Adolfo Franco, a Republican strategist. Being Donald Trump, he would now label any other candidate launching a presidential bid as disloyal to him as the previous president was and, in some ways, the honorary president of the party. »
But Trump, who was impeached twice during his last presidential term, is entering the race at a time of political vulnerability.
He had hoped to launch his campaign on the heels of the GOP’s resounding midterm victories, fueled by the candidates he’s running in this year’s primaries. Instead, many of those candidates lost, allowing the Democrats to keep the Senate and paving the way for the Republicans to achieve a narrow majority in the House of Representatives.
The losses have prompted some prominent Republicans to publicly blame Trump for promoting weak candidates who they say have destroyed the party’s hopes of controlling Congress.
However, Franco told Al Jazeera, Trump remains a “huge force”.
The Republican Party, frankly, is only loyal to him. And I think losing that base will hurt us in 2024. In many ways, today is the lowest point for Donald Trump. It’s only from here to Donald Trump. »
Trump’s bid for his party’s nomination also comes amid a growing slew of criminal investigations, many of which could lead to charges.
They include an investigation into dozens of classified documents the FBI seized from Mar-a-Lago, and ongoing state and federal investigations into his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
He also faces a congressional subpoena related to his role in the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol by his supporters.
Trump, a real estate mogul and former reality TV star, has described the various investigations he faces as politically motivated and denied any wrongdoing.
The former president’s time in the White House – between 2017 and 2021 – was one of the most turbulent times in modern US history. Along with an unprecedented impeachment, he issued a hard-hitting rhetoric that critics say often veers into outright bigotry and deeply polarized the country.
Despite his popularity among Republicans, 54% of voters in last week’s midterm elections viewed him very or somewhat unfavorably, according to AP VoteCast, a poll of more than 94,000 voters nationwide.
Trump’s candidacy also raises deep questions about America’s democratic future. The final days of his presidency undermined a desperate effort to stay in power, undermining centuries-old traditions of peaceful transition. And in the two years since his loss, Trump’s constant lies – and baseless – about widespread voter fraud have eroded confidence in the country’s political process.
In late January 2021, about two-thirds of Republicans said they did not believe Biden was legitimately elected in 2020, according to an AP-NORC poll. VoteCast showed that many Republican voters in the midterm elections continued to cling to this belief.
Federal and state election officials, as well as Trump’s attorney general, have said there is no credible evidence that the 2020 election was tainted. The former president’s allegations of fraud have also been dismissed by several courts, including Trump-appointed justices.
Trump’s presidential bid sets the stage for a potential rematch with Biden, who has said he intends to run for re-election despite concerns from some in his party about his age and low approval rating.
Both men were already the oldest presidential candidates ever when they ran for the 2020 campaign. Trump, who is 76, will be 82 when his second term ends in 2029. And Biden, who is nearing 80, will be 86. .
Democratic Party strategist Richard Justin said Democrats are divided on Trump’s new offer.
“I think a lot of Democrats are going to claim Donald Trump is the Republican nominee because he lost by 3 million votes in 2016,” Goodstein said, referring to how Trump lost the popular vote in 2016 but lost. He won the electoral college. “Trump lost seven million in 2020, and it is not possible to say how many losses he will lose by 2024,” Justin said. But the fear is that if he is indeed elected, unchecked by the prospect of having to face the electorate again, his autocratic nature will go unchecked and that is a frightening proposition. »
If he ultimately succeeds, Trump will be the second US president in history to serve two non-consecutive terms, following the victories of Grover Cleveland in 1884 and 1892.
For his part, Biden – who was attending the G20 summit in Indonesia – responded to Trump’s announcement of another round by tweeting that the Republican leader had “failed” his country during his tenure.
The tweet accompanies a video saying Trump has overseen “rigging the economy for the rich,” “attacking healthcare,” “pampering extremists,” “attacking women’s rights,” and “inciting mobs to violence” to try to overturn his 2020 election loss to Biden.
Later, while participating in a mangrove planting ceremony with other G20 leaders, reporters asked Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron if they had any reactions to Trump’s announcement.
The two looked at each other briefly before Biden said “No really,” while Macron remained silent.
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