Trump warns 2024 election ‘our one shot’ to save America

Former US President Donald Trump addresses the crowd during a 2024 election campaign event in Columbia, South Carolina, on January 28, 2023. (Photo by Logan Cyrus / AFP)

Donald Trump warned on Saturday that the next election is America’s last chance for salvation as he seeks to revive a treacherous third run for the White House in two US states that launched his winning 2016 presidential campaign.

With a bright future in politics and law, the 76-year-old Republican faced a few hundred supporters at close quarters in South Carolina’s capital, Columbia, after speaking to community activists in Salem, New Hampshire.

“The 2024 election is the only shot we have to save our country and we need a leader who is ready to do that on day one,” Trump said from a podium below the Statehouse rotunda, with American flags and some to his most loyal political allies on all sides.

The events were seen as an opportunity to revive a stuttering campaign amid criticism of Trump’s failure to make any public appearances since announcing his latest run in November.

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But there was no discernible change in his messaging as he launched into his disembodied claims about a stolen 2020 election and reiterated his litany of derogatory nicknames for his political rivals.

He touched on favorite culture war talking points, railing against what he said was a critical race theory being taught in the military as well as gender ideology and windmills that he said were largely are Chinese-made bird killers.

“There is only one president who has ever challenged the entire establishment in Washington, and with your vote next year, we will do it again,” he said as he sought to revive his 2016 image as a rebellious outsider.

His most divisive comments were reserved for the conservative critics he refers to as “RINOs” — Republicans in name only — whom he criticized at both events, arguing in New Hampshire that they were “even more dangerous than the Democrats.”

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During his speech to party activists in Salem he touted his record on law and order, immigration and “rebuilding” the US military as he vowed to save the country from being “destroyed by a radical selfish political establishment corrupt”.

“I’m angrier now and more committed now than I’ve ever been,” Trump said. “We need a president who is ready to hit the ground running on day one.”

– ‘Awful, awful people’ –

New Hampshire and South Carolina hold sway as two of the first states in every presidential election year to hold nominating contests.

They cemented Trump’s 2016 front-runner status after a lukewarm start in Iowa.

But he has reportedly struggled to hold together a base of support in South Carolina amid simmering discontent over his endorsements of candidates who lost swing state races in the November midterms.

The nomination could end a two-horse race between Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, which emerged in a straw poll at the National Pro-Life Summit in Washington last weekend.

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The biggest obstacle on Trump’s path to the nomination may be his mounting legal woes, with a semi-independent “special counsel” appointed to look into the myriad allegations of misconduct.

“These are radical left-wing prosecutors who are truly horrible, horrible people,” Trump said in New Hampshire, vowing to launch a Justice Department investigation if re-elected.

He is led by his handling of classified documents found in an FBI raid on his Florida beach mansion, his role in the 2021 uprising and, in Georgia, his efforts to overturn his 2020 election victory.

“We need a fighter who can stand up to the left, who can stand up to the swamp, stand up to the media, stand up to the deep state … stand up to the globalists and China, and stand up for America,” he said in South Carolina.

“And that’s what we do, we stand up for America.”

According to AFP


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