Former President Donald Trump formally launched his candidacy for president in 2024, his third try.
Trump made the announcement Tuesday night from his Mar-a-Lago home in Palm Beach, Florida, saying, “We are a nation in decline” and “America’s return begins right now.”
The decision, which Trump has been teasing for months, comes as the ailing former president faces various criminal and civil investigations, and his party is dealing with a worse-than-expected showing in the midterm elections, raising doubts about Trump’s control over the GOP.
In the hour-long speech, the former president pitched the successes of his administration as a “golden age,” saying, “our country was on track for an amazing future, because I made big promises to the American people — and unlike other presidents, I kept my promises.”
In contrast, Trump said, “For millions of Americans, the past two years under Joe Biden have been a time of pain, hardship, anxiety, and despair.”
“We will be attacked,” Trump said of his reelection efforts. “We will be slandered. We will be persecuted just as I have been … but we will not be intimidated. We will persevere … and in the end, we will win. Our country will win.”
Trump, who lost his reelection bid in 2020 but did not concede and has continued to spread false claims that the 2020 election was “rigged” and “stolen,” has repeatedly hinted at another run for the White House over the last year and told a rally crowd last week that a “big announcement” was on the way.
Trump’s third presidential candidacy comes at an unusual point in American history, with a former one-term president who never accepted his electoral defeat starting a campaign for re-election as the frontrunner for his party’s nomination.
Trump has already targeted certain potential presidential primary opponents, including potential 2024 for Ron DeSantis, who was re-elected governor of Florida on Tuesday.
Trump blasted DeSantis as a “average” governor in a statement issued last week, claiming that DeSantis was “politically dead” until Trump endorsed him in 2018 and criticizing DeSantis’ failure to indicate if he will run for president in 2024.
“Well, in terms of loyalty and class, that’s really not the right answer,” Trump said, disparaging the Florida governor as “Ron DeSanctimonious.”