Trump says he’s ‘angrier’ than ever as he tries to revive White House bid | donald trump

Donald Trump, the former US president, tried to pull his White House candidacy off the launch pad on Saturday, declaring himself “angrier” than ever as he became the first candidate to appear in the presidential campaign. 2024.

Trump drove through New Hampshire, which holds the nation’s first Republican primary, and was due to travel to South Carolina, seeking to shake off concerns about a lackluster campaign and “Trump fatigue” among voters.

“We need a president who’s ready to hit the ground running from day one and boy, am I hitting the ground running,” he told the New Hampshire State Republican Party’s annual meeting. “They [the media] said, ‘He doesn’t do rallies! He is not campaigning! Maybe he lost that step. I’m angrier now and I’m more engaged now than I’ve ever been. The remark drew applause and cheers from the audience.

Trump officially kicked off his run for the White House more than two months ago with an address at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida that has been widely derided for its lack of brilliance or bluster.

Such is the humble nature of America’s primary system that on Saturday the former president, who used to fly in luxury on Air Force One with the world’s most impressive military at his disposal, found himself talking from a crude wooden desk in a high school auditorium. in Salem.

Later, he was to introduce his South Carolina campaign leadership team to the state capitol of Columbia, an unusual choice for a man who first ran for office as an anti-establishment outsider. pledging to drain the swamp.

Both events contrasted sharply with the exuberant rallies Trump tends to thrive in, suggesting an effort to show Republicans he can be a more disciplined, conventional politician when he wants. It’s a tough climb after four years of White House uproar and tweets that culminated in the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the United States Capitol.

But some things about Trump, now 76, don’t change. He entered the New Hampshire event to the sound of singer Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA” and began with his usual dubious claim that there were thousands of people outside the crowded venue. He was quick to poke fun at Democrats with nicknames like “Crazy” Nancy Pelosi and “Cryin'” Chuck Schumer.

Despite advice from many Republicans to move on from his “big lie” that the 2020 election was stolen from him, he couldn’t resist an early sweep. “As someone who won the New Hampshire presidential primary not once but twice, and by the way, I believe we also won two general elections, OK, if you want to know the truth, and I believe that very strongly in many other places as well.”

The remark drew some cheers from the audience. Trump then ticked off familiar topics and dusted off old anecdotes, from energy independence to Hunter Biden’s laptop. “We are becoming Marxists,” he said, before denouncing the participation of transgender people in women’s sport. He championed “gas stoves” and “gas cars” rather than their electric counterparts.

He also claimed he would seek to criminalize the action of future presidents who have taken a less drastic approach to immigration. “Within hours of my inauguration, we will reinstate all of the border security measures of the Trump presidency – we have done it so well – to quickly restore the most secure border in the history of the United States, as we I did two years ago, and I will ask Congress to establish criminal penalties for any future administration that releases millions and millions of people you don’t want in our country.

Some opinion polls have shown Trump to be more vulnerable among Republicans than at any time since 2015, with Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida, emerging as his main rival. But the former president casually denied he faced serious competition in the primary. “We’re so far ahead in the polls… We’re going to win and we’re going to win really big.”

New Hampshire and South Carolina are seen as potential kingmakers as they are among the first to hold their nominating contests. In New Hampshire, Republican Gov. Chris Sununu has said he’s having conversations about a primary bid, and many high-ranking Republicans there — including those who have backed Trump before — are publicly saying they’re looking for a bid. alternative.

In South Carolina, where Trump will appear alongside Gov. Henry McMaster and Sen. Lindsey Graham, there will be a number of notable absences from Sen. Tim Scott, who has himself been touted as a potential Republican presidential candidate.

Rick Wilson, co-founder of the Lincoln Project, an anti-Trump group, believes Saturday’s events will put pressure on rival candidates to show up. “Trump knows that and because of this feeling that they’re missing the boat, this feeling that the base will start paying attention to Trump again, you see Kristi Noem attacking Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley making noises on Fox and all these other not so subtle pre-game signals of what’s to come.

Donald Trump makes a campaign stop at the South Carolina State House in Columbia, South Carolina.
Donald Trump makes a campaign stop at the South Carolina State House in Columbia, South Carolina. Photo: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

Wilson added, “All the other candidates who want to be president on the Republican side have to build from the ground up. They must all start from scratch. They must all form a campaign organization, a staff, a team. They all lack some degree of name recognition and star power. Even DeSantis isn’t a well-known quantity outside of a very narrow circle of Republican mega-donors. As we watch all of this fall into place, you will see Trump being able to start rolling up some of these early states.

Wilson remains convinced that Trump will win the Republican nomination. “It’s not going to be good for the party or anyone else, but with the structural strengths he has with the base – and a bunch of other candidates in the race dividing up the non-Trump vote – it’s finished before it starts. We will end up with a less exciting primary than we think.

But there are unique uncertainties surrounding the unique situation of a 76-year-old president twice impeached for one term trying to win back the White House. Frank Luntz, a pollster who has advised numerous Republican campaigns, takes Wilson’s opposite view: He thinks Trump is all a failure.

“How much Trump has fallen is a big deal and how much DeSantis has gained is a big deal,” Luntz said. “DeSantis is so far ahead of Barack Obama vs. Hillary Clinton [in the Democratic primary in 2007] because it is the closest parallel.

He predicts that DeSantis will be the Republican nominee in 2024. “I used to think Trump was the prohibitive frontrunner but, now that he’s below 50% and the first vote is still a year away, he bleeds of support.

“I talk to people about Trump. We did a group chat on him a few weeks ago. They all still appreciate all that he has done. They still think he was one of the greatest presidents in American history. But there’s too much drama and too much controversy and they’ve had enough. The conclusion from them is: Mr. Trump, thank you for your service, this country is grateful, but it’s time to move on.


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