Trump’s return to stump highlights 2024 campaign challenges and donor woes
Former President Donald Trump’s rant-filled weekend campaign stops highlight the challenges he faces in the 2024 election – including getting big donors to back him and even longtime allies to approve it.
Trump, 76, sang no new tunes as he hit the stump for the first time since announcing his third straight run for the White House in November.
Instead of dispelling critics who say his message is outdated — and potentially undermined by deep-pocketed GOP donors — Trump continued to press his long-disproved claims of 2020 voter fraud, hitting the windmills and ripping the intended enemy of the primary race and the Governor of Florida. Ron DeSantis.
“It’s time for a younger person or someone new to have their time,” said Karen Umberger — a delegate to the annual Republican State Committee meeting in Salem, NH, where Trump spoke on Saturday. — at the Washington Post.
The poor performance of Trump-endorsed candidates in the midterm elections led New Hampshire delegate Bill Bowen to say he would favor DeSantis.
“We really need a candidate who can appeal more to the middle,” Bowen, who was among just over 400 people at the campaign event at a local high school auditorium, told the outlet. .
“The question is, how do you do that without alienating Trump-ish voters?”
Marilyn Huston of Cheshire County, NH, told the outlet that Trump was simply too “unpredictable” to lead the country again.
Typical big Republican donors seem to agree, saying Trump is just too cowardly and politically toxic to be financially supported.
During his speech in New Hampshire, Donald channeled Don Quixote’s goofy hatred for windmills as he mocked President Biden’s energy policies.
“No drilling, we are not going to drill. We are going wind. Let’s kill all the birds. Let’s destroy our airplanes and our beautiful oceans and seas and everything else,” Trump said sarcastically, while providing no evidence that windmills destroy airplanes or oceans, according to Rolling Stone.
Chris Wood, 65, of Concord, told the Washington Post, “Like a lot of Republicans, we want to win 2024, and I think DeSantis is giving Republicans a better chance of winning the presidency.”
A recent New Hampshire poll found DeSantis had a 42-30% advantage among potential GOP voters in that state, which Trump won in 2016 when he ran as an overseas candidate.
A national poll found DeSantis’ advantage had fallen from 64 to 36 percent over Trump outside the Granite State.
Hours later, perennial candidate Trump repeated his false claims that the 2020 election was stolen from him at a small event in Columbia, South Carolina.
He broached the subject even as establishment Republicans warned that backtracking on it would cost him support in the next election cycle.
Despite nods from South Carolina Governors Henry McMaster and Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC), some local GOP leaders at the event still refused to pledge support for Trump, saying they were waiting. to see if there was a better choice.
Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, who served as an ambassador to the United Nations under Trump, was conspicuously absent from the event as talks continue that she might challenge him.
After Trump spoke at the small Columbia rally, he criticized DeSantis for considering running against him.
“I think that would be a big act of disloyalty because, you know, I brought him in. He had no chance. His political life was over” before that, the former president told reporters.
Trump was generally given a warm reception at both events, and many of his supporters said he couldn’t be counted out.
“People are waking up; people are realizing what their life was like two years ago compared to now,” Nick Blanchard, 33, told The Washington Post. “I believe he will be our 47th president.”
But Terry Sullivan, former campaign manager for Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) in 2016, was asked by the outlet about how he thought Trump’s campaign for the White House was going.
“What campaign?” Sullivan joked.
New York Post