FLORIDA – After his hand-picked candidates’ dismal midterm election performances damaged his hold on the party, Donald Trump announced his intention to run for president a third time on Tuesday, setting the stage for a brutal Republican primary fight.
The former president declared to hundreds of supporters gathered in an elaborate ballroom at his opulent Mar-a-Lago mansion in Florida that “America’s resurgence starts right now.”
The 76-year-old, who filed his official 2024 paperwork with the US election administration moments ago, declared, “In order to make America great and magnificent again, I am announcing my campaign for President of the United States, tonight.”
In Washington, Trump’s unusually early entry into the campaign for the White House is being interpreted as an effort to gain an advantage over other Republicans vying to be the party’s standard-bearer and to fend off potential criminal charges.
Republicans are still smarting from their disappointing midterm results, which were largely attributed to the under-performance of Trump-backed candidates.
Some openly question whether Trump, with his divisive political style and myriad legal issues, is the right candidate to represent the party moving forward.
The governor of Florida Ron DeSantis, who defied the odds and won a stunning victory on November 8, is the most prominent of the potential 2024 primary competitors.
Trump, who was twice impeached by the House of Representatives before losing the 2020 election to Democrat Joe Biden, enters his fresh campaign with a number of possible disadvantages.
His actions before, during, and after his first tenure as president are the subject of numerous investigations that could ultimately lead to his disqualification.
These include claims of fraud against his family business, his participation in the assault on the US Capitol last year, his attempt to rig the 2020 election, and his storage of sensitive information at Mar-a-Lago.
Trump has now officially confirmed his candidacy, which means that Biden’s attorney general, Merrick Garland, would be required to appoint a special counsel to carry out the numerous investigations into the former president that the Department of Justice has already begun.