Donald Trump officially pulled the trigger on running for president in 2024, declaring in a speech at Mar-A-Lago Tuesday night, “America’s comeback starts right now.”
“In order to make America great and glorious again I am tonight announcing my candidacy for president of the United States,” Trump said.
Trump declares 2024 run
Trump struck a subdued, solemn tone throughout his hour of remarks as he contrasted the prosperity of the Trump years with a “nation in decline” under his rival and successor, Joe Biden.
Revisiting themes from his historic, successful 2016 run, Trump lambasted America’s cities as “cesspools of blood” and crime and vowed to stop an “invasion” at the southern border that is bringing “millions and millions of unknown people” and a glut of lethal drugs into the country. Trump also blasted Biden’s handling of the war in Ukraine, saying it could lead to “World War III.”
Declaring that it “does not have to be this way,” Trump vowed to put “America First” again if elected to a second term, touting his record of securing America’s southern border with Mexico, re-negotiating “one-sided” trade deals, and keeping America out of “foolish and unnecessary” foreign wars.
The former president made a number of bold proposals to fix the country, calling for the death penalty for drug dealers and reforms to restore integrity to America’s increasingly “Third World” elections, a growing concern for many Americans after another election cycle marred by days of ballot counting.
“To eliminate cheating, I will immediately demand voter ID, same day voting and only paper ballots,” Trump said. “We want all votes counted by Election Night.”
“Save our country”
Trump’s 2024 kickoff comes as he is facing pushback from the right, including from conservative media like Fox News and the New York Post, which have embraced Florida governor Ron DeSantis (R) as the future of the party following the GOP’s disappointing performance in the midterm elections.
Hours before Trump’s speech, DeSantis, who won re-election in a landslide, took a veiled shot at Trump, dismissing the former president’s criticism as “noise.”
Trump is also facing legal pressure from the Biden administration, which raided Mar-A-Lago in August in an unprecedented show of force against a former president. It’s unclear if the Biden Justice Department will take the dramatic step of charging Biden’s top rival, especially now that he is officially running.
Trump ended his remarks with a defiant call to arms against “forces of tyranny” in the media and Washington establishment, declaring, more than seven years after his famous ride down the escalator at Trump Tower, that America’s best days were still ahead.
“This is not just a campaign. This is a quest to save our country,” he said.