“In order to make America great and glorious again, I tonight am announcing my candidacy for president of the United States,” Trump said as he announced his 2024 bid.
Earlier, the former president referenced “the blood-soaked streets of our once-great cities”, echoing his 2017 inaugural “American carnage” speech.
While referencing the “China virus” and “Islamic terrorism,” and maligning migrants crossing the southern border, Trump is promising to unify the country.
He followed up with: “We will defeat the radical left Democrats that are trying to destroy our country from within.”
Earlier today, senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said the extreme rhetoric of Trump-backed candidates in the midterms “frightened independent and moderate voters.”
“their impression of many of the people in our party in leadership roles is that they are involved in chaos, negativity, excessive attacks,” McConnell told reporters.
Trump’s long-awaited campaign comes as the former president tries to reclaim the spotlight following the GOP’s underwhelming midterm elections performance – including the losses of several Trump-endorsed election deniers – and the subsequent blame game that has unfolded since Election Day. Republicans failed to gain a Senate majority, came up short in their efforts to fill several statewide seats, and have yet to secure a House majority, with only 215 races called in their favor so far out of the 218 needed, developments that have forced Trump and other party leaders into a defensive posture as they face reproval from within their ranks.
On Tuesday night, he acknowledged the losses his party suffered but didn’t challenge the results – a marked shift from how he has long treated his own loss in the 2020 presidential election, which he continues to say was stolen.
He did deflect blame for the 2022 results by saying that voters had “not yet realized the full extent and gravity of the pain our nation is going through,” and then predicted that by 2024 “the voting will be much different.”
Trump’s paperwork establishing his candidacy landed with the Federal Election Committee shortly before he delivered his announcement at Mar-a-Lago, his Florida waterfront estate.