Former President Donald Trump launched a new bid for the White House Tuesday evening, ending months of speculation regarding whether he would seek the nation’s highest office a third time.
Trump made the announcement in Florida at his Mar-a-Lago estate in front of a crowd of supporters after he filed the federal paperwork required to run for president.
“My fellow citizens, America’s comeback starts right now,” Trump declared to a cheering crowd. “In order to make America great and glorious again, I am tonight announcing my candidacy for president of the United States.”
Trump said that he would “fight like no one has ever fought before” and claimed that he would stop Biden from winning re-election. “Our country could not take four more years,” he said. “They can only take so much.”
President Trump: “In order to make America great and glorious again, I am tonight announcing my candidacy for president of the United States.” pic.twitter.com/z95oHYjWwF
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) November 16, 2022
Trump’s new campaign comes after two years of Democrats controlling the White House and Congress, a unified government that helped fuel decades-high inflation and gas prices and historic levels of illegal immigration on the southern border. The Biden administration, notably, botched high-profile foreign policy decisions, including the withdrawal from Afghanistan — which fell to the Taliban almost immediately — and failed to completely end the COVID pandemic after promising to shut down the virus.
Trump’s allies say he is the best choice for the party’s nomination because he has already held the office and accomplished numerous feats during his administration, including strength on foreign policy, energy independence, a strong economy, a military that was being revamped and retooled for the wars of tomorrow, and his success in getting three conservative justices on the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court justices have been a particular high point for conservatives, particularly following the demise of Roe v. Wade in the summer.
Trump was largely considered to be the favorite for the Republican nomination heading into the 2024 cycle, and the day before the midterm elections — when Republicans were largely expected to easily ride a red wave into the majority in the House and Senate — he strongly hinted that his 2024 announcement would come the following week.
But a poor showing by Republicans and some of Trump’s high-profile handpicked candidates, combined with Trump’s subsequent attacks on fellow Republicans, has led to some in the party cooling on him in post-election polling.
One poll, commissioned by the Club For Growth, found that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis had overtaken Trump 48% to 37% in Iowa, 52% to 37% in New Hampshire, 56% to 30% in Florida, and 55% to 35% in Georgia. Trump had previously led DeSantis in all of those states, as recently as just a few months ago, in that same poll.
A separate poll, conducted by CWS Research, found that DeSantis is now up over Trump in the state of Texas by 11 points. Last month, Trump led DeSantis by 17 points.
Only one former president, Grover Cleveland, has won the presidency after losing the previous time, and it’s unclear what kind of primary field Trump might face. Speculated primary opponents include DeSantis, as well as some who served in the Trump administration, including former Vice President Mike Pence and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. None of them have said whether they plan to run for president.
Trump’s announcement also comes amidst a criminal investigation into the way he handled U.S. government records after leaving the White House. A former employee of Trump’s reportedly told federal investigators that Trump instructed him to move boxes of records “within his Florida residence after receiving a government subpoena demanding their return,” Reuters reported.