Trump announces his 2024 presidential bid – Grid News

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Trump announces his 2024 presidential bid

The former Republican president sets up a possible rematch with Biden — if he can unite his own party around him.

Trump announces his 2024 presidential bid
THE NEWS

On a gilded stage at Mar-a-Lago, former president Donald Trump announced that he would run again for the 2024 Republican nomination, with a declaration that “America’s comeback starts right now.”

Unlike his 2016 campaign, where he famously declared “I alone can fix it,” Trump emphasized the movement behind him. “This will not be my campaign,” he said. “This will be our campaign.” He said America was in “grave trouble” and that “this is a task for a great movement.”

Trump, who already filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to create his official campaign, recalled the years of presidency with nostalgia, reading off of a teleprompter in a subdued tone and occasionally going off script. But despite the new tone, he hit many of the same notes that he’s embraced since his 2016 campaign, including securing the border and projecting strength to global adversaries.

He addressed Republicans’ lackluster performance in the midterms by celebrating the defeat of Nancy Pelosi as speaker of the House and accusing the media of downplaying the success of his endorsed candidates. In an aside, he criticized the election process, saying that the wait for final calls for the House came only after “a ridiculously long and unnecessary period of waiting.”

Trump said that by 2024, the state of the country “will sadly be much worse,” adding, “We’ll see much more clearly what happened and what’s happening to the country, and the voting will be much different.”

By the end of his speech, however, after CNN and Fox News cut off the livestream, he had started reciting some of his most divisive talking points, alluding to immigrant caravans and calling for the death penalty for drug dealers.

THE CONTEXT

Trump chose quite the week to make his long-awaited announcement that he’s running for president. In many ways, he’s weaker than he’s been at any point since his ascent to the presidency in 2016, with the exception of the GOP backlash he faced in the days after the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

Some Republicans, reeling from their lackluster midterm performance, have cooled on Trump and his hand-picked Senate candidates who lost competitive races. Trump’s fall in status has given some Republicans an opening to be more vocal than usual about alternative 2024 candidates. New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu took a major swipe at the former president recently, saying it would be a “big mistake” to announce a presidential bid this week and that he wouldn’t support Trump in 2024.

In an interview Monday night on ABC, former vice president Mike Pence didn’t go quite as far as Sununu but did say, “I think we’ll have better choices in the future.” Pence also confirmed that he’s considering running for president himself.

Meanwhile, the Club for Growth, an anti-tax Republican funding group, is signaling that it may support DeSantis instead. Trump’s announcement at Mar-a-Lago in Florida, a bright spot for Republicans in 2022 largely due to DeSantis’ popularity, marks the beginning of a battle for Florida Republicans over who they want for their president.

LEGAL LENS

Trump can’t outrun his legal troubles

Trump faces a mounting series of legal challenges from Florida to New York. Among the fastest moving are the Justice Department’s investigation into Trump’s handling of sensitive government documents, and the investigation by Fulton County, Georgia, District Attorney Fani T. Willis into Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election. The investigation into the documents found at Mar-a-Lago has moved quietly forward in recent weeks, with federal prosecutors reportedly offering top Trump national security adviser Kash Patel immunity in exchange for his grand jury testimony.

None of these investigations have yet resulted in formal charges against the former president. In May, Attorney General Merrick Garland issued a memo that reiterated long-standing Justice Department policies that limit prosecutorial activity during election season. “Simply put,” Garland wrote, “partisan politics must play no role in the decisions of federal investigators or prosecutors regarding any investigations or criminal charges.”

Trump has a well-documented history trying to cast himself as a victim of politically motivated “witch hunt” attacks any time he has been under investigation. Experts see that same strategy likely playing a role in the timing of Trump’s announcement of his plans for 2024. He would be able to claim any attempted federal prosecution is coming at the hands of a Justice Department reporting to a likely general election rival, President Joe Biden. However, experts say Trump’s announcement would be unlikely to alter prosecutorial decisions at the state or federal level.

Steve Reilly

POLICY LENS

Biden’s and Trump’s immigration policies aren’t all that different

Trump kicked off his campaign pushing his strength on immigration. “Hundreds of thousands of pounds of deadly drugs including very lethal fentanyl are flooding across the now open and totally porous southern border,” Trump said.

But despite widespread criticism from Trump and much of the right about today’s “failing” immigration system, on the whole immigration policy under the Biden administration is only incrementally different from five years ago.

Biden inherited the same set of tools as Trump, and though Biden moved away from some Trump-era policies — like the travel ban on people from Muslim-majority countries — he has continued using many of the same approaches to immigration as the last administration.

Biden has continued using the controversial Title 42 policy established by the Trump administration during the pandemic, which allows the U.S. government to expel hundreds of thousands of migrants from the country each year because of coronavirus-related health concerns. Last year, the Biden administration flew thousands of Haitian migrants seeking asylum in the United States back to Haiti. Migrants who are not kicked out of the country have to wait three to five years to receive a hearing that determines whether they can claim asylum, and it can take months before they have the proper paperwork to seek work.

Biden is constrained in what he can do on immigration by federal law and tight funding for agencies like U.S. Customs and Border Protection. He has made some changes to the immigration system, for example stopping a program created by the Trump administration that sent migrants who had crossed the border back to Mexico to await their immigration hearings.

Biden also halted construction of the border wall that was emblematic of Trump’s immigration policy — though he has not stopped it entirely. Recently, the administration decided to close gaps in the wall in high-traffic areas near Yuma, Arizona.

Maggie Severns

Thanks to Dave Tepps for copy editing this article.

  • Leah Askarinam
    Leah Askarinam

    Senior Editor

    Leah Askarinam is Senior Editor at Grid, overseeing coverage of politics, misinformation and the economy.

  • Steve Reilly
    Steve Reilly

    Investigative Reporter

    Steve Reilly is an investigative reporter for Grid focusing on threats to democracy.

  • Maggie Severns
    Maggie Severns

    Domestic Policy Reporter

    Maggie Severns is a policy reporter for Grid covering complex policy stories and major headlines.

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