PALM BEACH, Fla., Nov 15 (Reuters) – Donald Trump, who has launched relentless attacks on the integrity of the U.S. vote since losing the 2020 election, on Tuesday launched a bid to regain the presidency in 2024, aiming for him to anticipate the potential. Republican rivals.
Seeking a possible rematch with Democratic President Joe Biden, Trump made his announcement at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida a week after midterm elections in which Republicans failed to win as many seats in Congress as they had hoped.
In a speech that lasted a little more than an hour, Trump spoke to hundreds of supporters in a ballroom decorated with chandeliers and lined with American flags.
“To make America great again, I am announcing tonight my candidacy for president of the United States,” Trump told the ringing crowd, which included family members, donors and former staff.
Trump steered clear of the name-calling that has characterized other public appearances, choosing instead to criticize the Biden presidency and review what Trump has said are the policy achievements of his own time in office.
“Two years ago we were a great nation and soon we will be a great nation again,” he said.
Trump laid out familiar dark themes from his playbook, denouncing immigrants – “We’re poisoning them” – and portraying American cities as “bloodbaths.”
He said he would push for the death penalty for drug dealers and reinstate members of the military who were fired for refusing to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Although he attacked the US electoral process, Trump did not use his speech to revive his false claims of massive voter fraud in 2020 and did not mention the violent attempt by his supporters on January 6, 2021, to prevent to ask Congress to confirm Biden’s victory.
On a trip to Indonesia, Biden said “not really” when asked if he had a reaction to Trump’s announcement. On Twitter, he posted a video criticizing Trump’s record in office.
LONG ROAD There is a long road ahead before the Republican nominee is formally chosen in the summer of 2024, with the first state contests more than a year away.
Trump’s announcement comes earlier than usual even in a country known for protracted presidential campaigns, and signals his interest in discouraging other potential contenders such as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis or his own former vice president, Mike Pence, from making a bid. on the nomination of the Republican Party. .
DeSantis won re-election as governor last week. Pence is trying to distance himself from Trump while promoting a new book. Other potential Republican presidential hopefuls include Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin, Texas Governor Greg Abbott, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Trump played an active role in the midterms, recruiting and promoting candidates who echoed his false claims that the 2020 election was stolen from him through widespread voter fraud.
But many of his candidates lost in key battleground states, prompting some prominent Republicans to openly blame him for promoting weak candidates that dashed the party’s hopes of taking control of the Senate.
Control of the House of Representatives is still up in the air, but Republicans are on track to win a razor-thin majority.
Trump will seek his party’s nomination even as he faces trouble in a variety of ways, including a criminal investigation into his handling of government documents, a congressional subpoena related to his role in the January 6, 2021 attack. Trump called the politically motivated investigations and denied wrongdoing.
Trump, 76, is trying to become only the second US president in history to serve non-consecutive terms, after Grover Cleveland, whose second term ended in 1897. Biden, 79, said last week that he intends to run for re-election and will. he is likely to make a final decision early next year.
In an Edison Research exit poll, seven in 10 midterm voters said Biden, who remains a favorite, should not run again. In the same poll, six in 10 respondents said they had an unfavorable opinion of Trump.
During his turbulent 2017-2021 presidency, Trump defied democratic norms and promoted “America First” nationalism while presenting himself as a right-wing populist. He cut taxes and got a conservative majority on the Supreme Court. He alienated US allies and praised authoritarian leaders, including Russia’s Vladimir Putin.
He was the first US president to be impeached twice, although congressional Democrats failed to remove him from office.
At a rally that preceded the Capitol attack, Trump urged his supporters to march on Congress to “stop the theft”, but the crowd that stormed the Capitol failed to prevent Congress from confirm Biden’s election victory.
While the court and state election officials rejected Trump’s election fraud claims, about two-thirds of Republican voters believe Biden’s victory was illegitimate, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll.
Trump has received passionate support from many Americans, especially white men, Christian conservatives, rural residents and those without a college education. Critics accuse Trump of pursuing policies based on “white grievance” in a nation with a growing non-white population.
The political landscape has changed dramatically since he won the presidency in 2016 and some in his party, including major donors, are consumed by the drama surrounding him.
Ivanka Trump was not at the event, although her husband Jared Kushner was with her brothers Don Jr and Eric. She released a statement saying: “I do not plan to be involved in politics. Although I will always love and support my father, from now on I will do so outside of the political world.”
Reporting by Steve Holland in Palm Beach, Florida, and Andy Sullivan in Washington; Additional reporting by Gram Slattery in Washington: Editing by Will Dunham, Ross Colvin and Howard Goller
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.