“Furious and engaged,” Trump emerges to run for president in 2024
Later in South Carolina, Trump said he plans to keep the state’s presidential primary as “first in the South,” calling it “a very important state.”
In his speech, he rushed from criticizing Biden and the Democrats to derogatory comments about transgender people, mockery of people promoting the use of electric stoves and electric cars, and recalled efforts as president to increase oil production, secure trade deals and to crack on migration at the US-Mexico border.
While Trump remains the only declared presidential candidate for 2024, potential challengers are expected to include Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who was Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations , will get their campaign going in the coming months.
After his speech in South Carolina, Trump said in an interview that it would be “a great act of disloyalty” for DeSantis to defy him in the primary and recognize the gubernatorial first pick.
“If he runs, that’s fine. I’m high in the polls,” Trump said. “He’ll have to do what he wants, but he might run away. I think it would be a major act of disloyalty because, you know, I brought him in. He didn’t stand a chance. His political life was over.”
He said he hasn’t spoken to DeSantis in a long time.
Governor Henry McMaster, US Senator Lindsey Graham and several members of the state’s congressional delegation attended Trump’s event at the Statehouse.
Trump’s team has struggled to garner support from South Carolina lawmakers, even from some who had previously ardently supported him. Some have said that more than a year after the primary is too early to make any confirmations or that they are waiting to see who else will run. Others have said it is time for the party to move past Trump to a new generation of leaders.
South Carolina House Speaker Murrell Smith was among the legislative leaders awaiting Trump’s arrival, although he said he was not there to provide a formal confirmation but to see the former president in his role as speaker in the state to welcome.
Otherwise, dozens of supporters crowded the ceremonial lobby between the House and Senate, vying with reporters and camera crews for a spot between marble-topped tables and a life-size bronze statue of former Vice President John C. Calhoun.
Dave Wilson, president of the conservative Christian nonprofit Palmetto Family, said some conservative voters may have concerns about Trump’s recent comments that Republicans, who are unequivocally anti-abortion, cost the party in November’s election.
“It’s giving some people in the conservative ranks of the Republican Party pause as to whether we need the process to sort itself out,” said Wilson, whose group hosted Pence 2021 for a speech.
But Gerri McDaniel, who worked on Trump’s 2016 campaign, dismissed the idea that voters were ready to dump the former president. “Some media keep saying that he is losing his support. No he isn’t,” she said. “It’s only going to get bigger than before because there are so many people who are angry about what’s happening in Washington.”
The South Carolina event was somewhat atypical for a former reality TV star who has typically favored big rallies and attempted to cultivate an outsider image. Rallies are expensive, and Trump added new financial challenges when he decided to start his campaign in November — well earlier than many had called for. This puts him under strict fundraising regulations and prohibits him from using his well-funded Political Action Committee to fund such events, which can cost millions of dollars.
Trump’s campaign has caused controversy in its early stages, notably when he dined with Holocaust-denying white nationalist Nick Fuentes and the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, who made a string of anti-Semitic comments. Trump was also widely ridiculed for selling a series of digital trading cards depicting him as a superhero, cowboy, and astronaut, among other things.
He is the subject of a number of criminal investigations, including an investigation into the discovery of hundreds of documents with secret markings at his Florida club and whether he obstructed justice by refusing to return them, as well as state and federal investigations of his efforts to overthrow them the results of the 2020 election, which he lost to Biden.
Still, early polls show he’s a favorite to win his party’s nomination.
“The gun has been fired and the campaign season has begun,” said Stephen Stepanek, outgoing leader of the New Hampshire Republican Party. Trump announced that Stepanek will serve as senior adviser for his campaign in the state.
https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/angry-and-committed-trump-emerges-to-launch-2024-bid-for-president-20230129-p5cg87.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_world “Furious and engaged,” Trump emerges to run for president in 2024