Former President Trump, who continues to spread baseless lies about his 2020 defeat, began an unprecedented comeback bid by declaring his 2024 campaign for president at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida on Tuesday night.
Trump — the first president in U.S. history to be impeached twice, most recently for incitement of insurrection — changed American politics with his unconventional governing style and undeniable grip on the GOP. But his third presidential run comes as Republicans are reevaluating his role as the face of the party following midterm failures and ongoing controversies.
The former president is currently embroiled in numerous criminal investigations, including separate Justice Department inquiries into his handling of classified materials found at Mar-a-Lago and his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election. Atlanta-area prosecutors are also conducting a criminal investigation into Trump’s attempts to pressure Georgia officials to meddle in the election. In New York, longtime Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg took the witness stand in a criminal tax fraud trial against the former president’s company hours before he was set to make his 2024 announcement.
Trump began his speech Tuesday by praising the MAGA movement and rattling off a list of his administration’s proclaimed accomplishments on the economy, immigration and foreign policy, declaring the country was “ready for its golden age” when he left office.
He excoriated President Biden for the “decline of America” over the past two years, reviving his use of violent imagery to paint a picture of a country overrun by crime and drugs. Trump accused Biden of embarrassing the U.S. with his administration’s flawed withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021 and of “leading us to the brink of nuclear war” with Russia.
Addressing the GOP’s disappointing performance in last week’s midterms, Trump promised a better result in 2024: “The citizens of our country haven’t realized the full gravity of the pain our nation is going through, and the total effect of the suffering is just starting to take hold,” he said.
Trump toward the end of his roughly hourlong speech proposed several policies he would push for as president, including term limits and a ban on stock trading for members of Congress.
Trump largely veered away from repeating his lies about the 2020 election but said as president he would “immediately demand voter ID, same day voting, and only paper ballots” to “eliminate cheating” in elections.