Former US President Donald Trump is expected to officially launch another run for the White House on Tuesday, rejecting calls within his Republican Party for him to fade after his loyalists underperformed in the midterm elections. period this year.
The 76-year-old billionaire, whose 2016 victory shocked the US and the world, summoned the press to his Florida mansion for a “very important announcement” at 9 p.m. Tuesday (midnight).
“President Trump is going to announce Tuesday that he is running for president,” said one of his advisers, Jason Miller, who predicted the speech would be “very businesslike, very buttoned-down.”
Known for his unpredictability, Trump could still change his mind at the last minute, but for months he has made little secret of his desire to run for president again in 2024.
Delaying the announcement now, as suggested by some of his advisers, would be very uncomfortable for Trump because he has called it “perhaps the most important speech ever delivered in the history of the United States.”
The ‘red wave’ crashes
A run for the White House in 2024 would be Trump’s third presidential campaign and, if he wins his party’s nomination, his fifth national election with him as the Republican Party’s standard-bearer.
In 2016, Trump and the Republicans rose to power, seized control of the White House, and held their majorities in both houses of Congress.
But Democrats recaptured the House in a landslide in 2018 after campaigning largely against Trump’s caustic style.
Trump then lost re-election in 2020 to Democrat Joe Biden (Trump still refuses to concede defeat), while Democrats won control of the 100-seat Senate with a de facto majority as a result of the vice president’s tie-breaking vote. Kamala Harris on camera was split 50-50.
After leaving Washington in chaos shortly after his supporters stormed the US Capitol, Trump chose to remain in the political arena and continue fundraising and holding rallies across the country.
Ahead of the 2022 midterm vote, in which Biden’s Democrats were expected to lose handily, Trump made the denial of the 2020 election results a key litmus test for candidates to gain their influential influence. political backing.
But the predicted Republican “red wave” did not materialize and the Democrats will retain their control of the Senate. In the still undecided House, it seems likely that Republicans will win only a slim majority.
The results emboldened Trump’s Republican detractors and sapped most of his political momentum ahead of the campaign launch on Tuesday.
“It’s basically the third election in a row that Donald Trump has cost us the race, and it’s like three strikes and you’re out,” Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a vocal critic of Trump, told CNN on Sunday.
Trump’s response has been to double down on unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud in the midterms, posting on his Truth Social platform that the results were a “scam” and blaming Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell.
“It’s Mitch McConnell’s fault,” he posted, saying the Kentucky resident had misallocated campaign funds and followed a flawed legislative agenda.
“He failed midterms and everyone looks down on him,” said Trump, who has long disagreed with McConnell.
Tuesday’s announcement is widely seen as a way to take the breath away from potential Republican challengers, namely Ron DeSantis, the re-elected Florida governor and rising star who has also won the endorsement of Rupert Murdoch’s conservative media empire.
Trump’s new White House search will also be hampered by multiple investigations into his conduct before, during and after the presidency, which could result in his disqualification.
These include fraud allegations by his family business, his role in the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, and his handling of classified documents at his private Florida home, which was raided by the FBI. in August.
But the former president is no stranger to scandals and has even survived two impeachments due to his continued Republican support in Congress.
The 2024 election could also be a repeat of 2020, with Biden reaffirming that he intends to run for re-election.
Despite the strong midterm results, some Democrats continue to call for Biden to be left out due to his age and unpopularity. Biden, 80, said he will make a final decision next year. — AFP