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Trump announces 2024 presidential run


Former President Donald Trump announced Tuesday he will run to retake the White House in 2024.


PALM BEACH, Fla. — Former President Donald Trump ended months of speculation and launched his bid to retake the White House in 2024 Tuesday, an early attempt to clear the GOP primary field ahead of a potential rematch against Joe Biden.

“Ladies and gentlemen, distinguished guests and my fellow citizens, America’s comeback starts right now,” Trump, 76, told hundreds of cheering supporters who gathered in the ornate ballroom of his Mar-a-Lago resort for the official announcement.

“In order to make America great and glorious again I am tonight announcing my candidacy for president of the United States.”

Moments before his remarks, the 45th president filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission confirming his candidacy.

“I will ensure that Joe Biden does not receive four more years,” he added later in his remarks. “Our country could not take that. And I say that not in laughter, I say that in tears. Our country could not take four more years. They can only take so much.”

Since Trump left office, polls have indicated his standing among Republicans has declined, with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis seen as another top contender for the nomination.

Former President Donald Trump and first lady Melania head to his announcement Tuesday for another run at the White House.REUTERS

The former president made a theatrical entrance after the sound system blasted the anthem “Do You Hear the People Sing?” from the musical Les Miserables.

“Our enemies are speaking of us with scorn and laughter and derision … People are going absolutely wild and crazy. They are not happy. They are very, very angry,” Trump said.

“Now we have a president who falls asleep at global conferences, was held in contempt by the British parliament over Afghanistan … and he is leading us to the brink of nuclear war, a concept unimaginable just two short years ago.”

Trump vowed that if he’s elected to a second non-consecutive term, “we will be a great nation again.”

“The decline of America is being forced upon us by Biden and the radical left lunatics running our government right into the ground. This decline is not a fate we must accept,” he said.

Trump brushed off the unexpectedly poor showing by Republicans in last week’s midterm elections, in which Democrats retained the Senate and Republicans were on track to gain the House by a hair. “Nancy Pelosi has been fired,” Trump said. “I said, ‘If you win by two seats, be happy.'”

In a swipe at his would-be competitors, Trump said that the job of “taking on the most corrupt forces and entrenched interests imaginable” was “not a task for a politician or a conventional candidate. This is a task for a great movement.”

The former president also lauded his own policies during his four years in office and said he was running on a “national greatness agenda” — while slamming Biden for his actions as well as his frequent gaffes. 

Biden says he also plans to run again in 2024, despite turning 80 on Nov. 20.

Trump offered a comprehensive policy platform in his 69-minute speech, though some members of his roughly 1,000-strong audience began speaking among themselves and ignoring his words toward the end.

“Unlike Biden possibly getting us into World War III, which can seriously happen, I will keep America out of foolish and unnecessary foreign wars, just as I did for four straight years,” Trump said.

“The world was at peace,” Trump went on, reflecting on when he left office in 2021. “America was prospering, and our country was on track for an amazing future. Because I made big promises to the American people and unlike other presidents, I kept my promises.”

On domestic policy, Trump won cheers by pledging that “we will not let men participate in women’s sports” in reference to transgender athletes and said he would call for Congress to approve the death penalty for drug dealers.

“We’re going to be asking everyone who sells drugs, gets caught selling drugs, to receive the death penalty for their heinous acts,” Trump said, despite his record of releasing from prison many drug dealers — including springing on his final day in office seven men jailed for life for marijuana dealing, two of whom were given that penalty as a consequence of Biden’s 1994 crime law.

Trump also vowed to double down on protectionism and ensure “low taxes, low regulations and fair trade.”

He also asserted that he would bring down inflation — currently at its highest sustained rate since the early 1980s — to around 1%, versus 7.7% currently, and said he would work to return supply chains and manufacturing from China.

“Economic security is national security,” Trump said. “Good luck getting a turkey for Thanksgiving. Number one, you won’t get it. And if you do, you’re going to pay three or four times more.”

The ex-president said he also would “insist” that local officials accept federal intervention to quell rising violent crime because “people are being shot and killed at random like you’ve never seen before” and cities are becoming “cesspools of blood.”

Trump also said he would finish his long-promised US-Mexico border wall and work to deport “illegal immigrant criminals” — and take aim at “festering rot” in Washington by pushing a constitutional amendment imposing congressional term limits, along with a lifetime ban on lobbying by former lawmakers and Cabinet members and new rules restricting congressional stock trades.

Guests at the event included staffers who will work on Trump’s campaign, among them Susie Wiles, a former DeSantis aide, senior communications adviser Steven Cheung, longtime Trump associate Boris Epshteyn and Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich. 

Former Trump campaign spokesman Jason Miller, the current CEO of fledgling social media network GETTR, also mingled with reporters, as did longtime Trump associate Roger Stone.

Trump’s sons Eric and Barron and son-in-law Jared Kushner attended — while Donald Trump Jr., who was on a hunting trip, was unable to make the event due to a flight issue. Kushner’s wife Ivanka Trump, a former unpaid West Wing adviser, was not in attendance and later issued a statement saying she wanted no part of her father’s latest campaign.

“This time around, I am choosing to prioritize my young children and the private life we are creating as a family,” the eldest Trump daughter said in a statement. “I do not plan to be involved in politics. While I will always love and support my father, going forward I will do so outside the political arena.”

At least one member of Congress, outgoing Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC), was present — after one of the few expected lawmakers, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) gave the event a miss due to a scheduling conflict with House GOP leadership votes.

A tranche of Trump administration alums also attended, among them former White House budget director Russ Vought, former acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker and former White House adviser Seb Gorka.

If Trump wins in 2024, Vought told The Post, “from day one he will know how to put his hand in the glove and wield as much power within the federal government as possible and I think he will have a staff and an administration of like-minded individuals.”

“I think it’s going to be a scrappy campaign that has a lot of the feel of the 2016 campaign,” Vought added. “He has got fire in the belly. He’s got unfinished business.”

Whitaker told The Post that “there’s no reason to expect that he will be unopposed [for the Republican nomination], but at the same time I’m really excited … this is going to be one of those seasons to not miss.”

“I think the early Trump years were marked by maybe some staff that wasn’t up to the challenge and he kept trying to find the right people and put them in the right spots,” Whitaker said. “I think he finally hit his stride as he headed from ’19 to ’20. I think he’s going to have some great people identified and I think he’s going to be in a position from day one to drive the thing forward.”

The event occurred as Trump takes blame for his intervention in the midterm elections — with critics saying his primary-campaign endorsements of candidates like Dr. Mehmet Oz in the Pennsylvania Senate contest cost the GOP winnable races.

“Much criticism is being placed on the fact that the Republican Party should have done better and frankly, much of this blame is correct,” Trump said Tuesday night, before adding: “I do want to point out that in the midterms, my endorsement success rate was 232 wins and only 22 losses. You don’t hear that from the media.”

However, the former president did not note that many of his victories were for endorsements of candidates in safe House seats, where his support was not necessary to ensure Republican wins.

Trump entered the race as Republicans warm to DeSantis after the Florida governor won re-election last week by a nearly 20 percentage point margin.

The former president betrayed his own view of DeSantis at a Nov. 5 rally in Pennsylvania, where Trump dismissed his home state governor as “Ron DeSanctimonious” and later took a swipe at another potential rival, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin by saying his name sounded “Chinese.”

After Trump’s chosen candidates disappointed in last week’s midterms, he lashed out at DeSantis in a post on Truth Social Nov. 10, dismissing his would-be rival as an “average REPUBLICAN Governor with great Public Relations” before demanding he rule himself out of a 2024 run.

Trump, who did not mention DeSantis in his remarks, may have reason to view the Florida governor as a threat.

A series of snap post-midterm polls conducted on behalf of conservative non-profit Club For Growth found DeSantis held double-digit leads over Trump among likely GOP primary voters in Florida, neighboring Georgia and the early states of Iowa and New Hampshire.

A series of snap post-midterm polls conducted on behalf of conservative non-profit Club For Growth found DeSantis held double-digit leads over Trump among like GOP primary voters in Florida, neighboring Georgia and the early states of Iowa and New Hampshire.

However, Trump and his fervent supporters are still a force to be reckoned with in Republican politics.

Politico/Morning Consult poll released Tuesday showed 47% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents would support the former president in a hypothetical primary, while just 33% would back DeSantis.

Although Trump lost to Biden by more than seven million votes nationally in 2020, the race was much tighter in the swing states that determined the Electoral College victor. If Trump had gained about 43,000 votes, the Electoral College would have been tied and the House of Representatives would have decided the outcome, with Republicans holding enough state delegations to reelect Trump.

Still, Trump is kicking off his third straight presidential campaign amid the backdrop of a potential indictment by the Justice Department on charges of mishandling classified information after the FBI raided his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida Aug. 8 and removed dozens of sensitive documents.

Trump is also being investigated in connection with the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot, during which a wild mob of his supporters disrupted certification of Biden’s victory.

47% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents would support the former president in a hypothetical primary.AFP via Getty Images

Meanwhile, a Georgia grand jury is holding hearings about whether the former president and his allies acted illegally in attempting to overturn Trump’s 2020 election loss to Biden in the Peach State. Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, Trump’s onetime personal lawyer, is among almost 20 people named as targets of that investigation.

Therefore, if Trump wins the White House again in 2024, he will have pulled off one of the biggest political comebacks in US history after leaving office with the riot overshadowing his domestic and foreign policy accomplishments.

Trump was impeached just days before he left office for allegedly inciting the Capitol riot, notably with a speech to thousands of people on the Ellipse near the White House. The 45th president encouraged his audience to march on Congress because the election was being “stolen” — despite the fact that courts had rejected his claims of widespread fraud.

The mob proceeded to battle police and break into the Capitol building. The Senate acquitted Trump by a vote of 57-43, 10 votes short of the 2/3 required for conviction, meaning he remains eligible to hold office.

Trump is being investigated in connection with the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot and faces a potential indictment by the Justice Department on charges of mishandling classified information.AFP via Getty Images

Trump was initially impeached in 2019 for pressuring Ukraine to investigate Hunter Biden’s reported $1 million per year job at Ukrainian gas firm Burisma while his vice-president father led the Obama administration’s Ukraine policy.

The former president is expected to run on various well-worn boasts while slamming Biden’s management of the nation since taking office.

In 2017, Trump signed a major tax cut into law and in 2018 pushed through a bipartisan criminal justice reform bill that reduced harsh federal sentences, including penalties authored by then-Sen. Biden in the 1990s that jailed some drug dealers for life without parole. He nominated three conservative Supreme Court justices, allowing for the court to end federal abortion rights last month.

On foreign policy, Trump’s administration brokered recognition of Israel by four Arab states and he defused tensions with nuclear-armed North Korean tyrant Kim Jong Un with three meetings. He forced a rewrite of the NAFTA trade deal with Canada and Mexico and rechristened the pact USMCA while waging a tariffs-driven trade war with China in a bid to force another major agreement.

The COVID-19 pandemic and associated local government-ordered business closures caused an economic bust that wiped away Trump’s ability to claim record national prosperity.

Trump urged a reopening of US society in mid-2020 while pouring billions into vaccine development, but restrictions dragged on and a breakthrough was announced too late to benefit his campaign.

Pfizer announced six days after Election Day that its vaccine was more than 90% effective against COVID-19 infection — heralding a return toward normalcy.

Biden, who turns 80 this year, insists that he will seek re-election, but there are widespread doubts, including among fellow Democrats. He’s already the oldest-ever US president and would be 86 if he leaves office in 2029.

The president’s average job approval rating sits at 42%, according to RealClearPolitics — and even lower among core Democratic-leaning groups such as young people and Hispanics — as record gas prices, the worst inflation since 1981 and rising violent crime and illegal immigration drag on his popularity.

“We do not have to endure what is taking place in Washington,” Trump said. “You see our country, the corridors of power … they’re our corridors, they’re not their corridors. “

“These are our corridors, and we are going to take those corridors back.”

Trump would be the second president elected to non-consecutive terms, after Democrat Grover Cleveland in 1884 and 1892. He would have to leave office in January 2029 because the Constitution doesn’t allow a president to be elected to three terms.

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