Trump announces a third bid for the presidency, even as GOP reels from midterm setback

By: - November 16, 2022 5:59 am

Donald Trump gestures during an event at his Mar-a-Lago home on November 15, 2022 in Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Defeated former President Donald Trump, whose lies about his reelection loss in 2020 precipitated an insurrectionist attack on the U.S. Capitol, announced Tuesday he will make another run for the White House in 2024.

His announcement came only a week after a disappointing showing by Republicans — especially those who endorsed his false claims about 2020 — in the midterm elections.

He filed paperwork with the Federal Elections Commission just before taking the stage Tuesday night to declare his candidacy.

Trump cast doubts in his remarks about the country’s election systems, raising objections to how long it has taken to count ballots in the Nov. 8 election and calling for paper ballots to be used exclusively as a supposed deterrent to fraud.

There is no evidence to support Trump’s claims about any widespread fraud in the 2020 election, though there is evidence — compiled and reported over a series of hearings by the U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6, 2021, Attack on the U.S. Capitol — that Trump knew his claims were false and still led a multipart effort to overturn the election.

Those efforts culminated with the Jan. 6 attack.

While he didn’t re-litigate his 2020 claims, his remarks did not back away from them either.

And C-SPAN cameras appeared to catch a clue that he was not eager to dispense with the personnel who led him to Jan. 6, as they showed Roger Stone in the audience. Stone is a political consultant who was convicted of obstructing Congress in the first of two impeachments of Trump, encouraged Trump to fight the 2020 election results and was involved in Jan. 6 planning.

Trump is suing to defy a subpoena from the committee, which has sought his testimony as its members have depicted the former president as the central figure in the insurrection.

He is also under a bevy of other investigations. The U.S. Justice Department is conducting its own Jan. 6 investigation and is also exploring Trump’s removing classified documents from the White House and taking them to his Florida estate. He is also facing state investigations related to the 2020 election in Georgia and for his business practices in New York.

But until this month, that had not diminished Trump’s influence with GOP office-seekers, many of whom tried to tie themselves to the former president in their own campaigns.

Last week, many of the candidates who echo Trump’s claims of a stolen election lost theirs, as Democrats held the U.S. Senate, will likely only narrowly lose the U.S. House and won several governors’ offices, secretary of state races and other state offices.

Some Republicans have called for moving on from Trump and have looked to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as a potential alternative for the 2024 nomination.

A poll distributed by the conservative Club for Growth on Monday showed Trump trailing DeSantis by double digits in first-in-the-nation nominating contests in Iowa and New Hampshire as well as in Florida and Georgia, Politico reported.

Yet, Trump is still seen as the frontrunner to win the GOP nomination, as campaigning for state caucuses and primaries begins to ramp up in 2023. Biden has said he plans to seek reelection.

In his speech Tuesday, Trump repeatedly described himself as not a politician but the leader of a “movement,” saying he “hated” thinking of himself as a politician.

Grievances, both personal to him and on behalf of his supporters, took up the bulk of Trump’s speech, alongside general criticism of Biden.

Earlier Tuesday evening, the White House tweeted a list of Biden’s accomplishments during his presidency, including allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices, lowering the federal deficit and taking aggressive climate action. “President Biden has gotten a lot done,” it said.

Trump said he and his supporters were the true defenders of America from Biden and Democratic “radicals” and adversaries abroad. His supporters would be “persecuted” by a “woke” political and cultural establishment over the course of a campaign, he predicted.

“We need every patriot on board,” he said near the close of the announcement. “Because this is not just a campaign. This is a quest to save our country.”

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Jacob Fischler
Jacob Fischler

Jacob covers federal policy as a senior reporter for States Newsroom. Based in Oregon, he focuses on Western issues. His coverage areas include climate, energy development, public lands and infrastructure.