(Columbia, Washington) An “angrier than ever” Donald Trump returned to campaign rallies on Saturday, hoping to boost his bid for the White House with a speech in swing state New Hampshire before a trip to South Carolina, 1500 km away.
Posted at 3:27pm
Frankie TAGGART with Camille CAMDESSUS Agence France-Press
Two and a half months into the 2024 election race, the former US President left the gilded parlors of his Florida residence for visits that were not accidental.
These two states will be among the first to organize their Republican primary in early 2024. A win would guarantee victorious Donald Trump a valuable — and necessary — momentum going forward.
“We need a leader who is willing to take on the forces that are devastating our country,” he told hundreds of people in Salem, a small New Hampshire town where the Republican Party holds its annual convention.
But after years of reigning over the “Grand Old Party”, Donald Trump, 76, will not necessarily be on conquered ground.
In this border state with Canada, many local politicians have criticized the billionaire for sealing the Republicans’ chances in the recent midterm elections by supporting candidates deemed too extreme.
“Personally, I think he’s lost a lot of his appeal and aura,” Mike Bordes, who was elected to local parliament, told AFP, who nonetheless supported him in the 2020 election.
If that official will be present at Salem — “he’s the former president, so we have to welcome him” — he also says he’s “ready to move forward and consider other options” for the Republican nomination.
On Saturday, Donald Trump played his usual score, reiterated that the 2020 election had been stolen from him and gave scornful nicknames to his rivals.
He also touted his achievements in the areas of public safety and immigration, and pledged to save the country “from destruction at the hands of a corrupt, radical and selfish political establishment.”
I am now angrier and more determined than ever.
Donald Trump, former President of the United States
But he could also encounter resistance in South Carolina, a state bordering the Atlantic, where he will present his campaign team at 4 p.m.
Because if the ex-president is officially the only declared Republican candidate, several applicants in this state also seem to be ready to go.
Starting with former Gov. Nikki Haley, who promised her followers an announcement very soon.
Donald Trump has also seen several of his key donors publicly announce that they would not support his candidacy in 2024 in favor of Ron DeSantis — Florida governor and rising star of the party, who also did not officially run.
Political concerns that the ex-president, who was already surrounded by countless investigations, would have done well.
In December, a parliamentary committee investigating the Republican’s responsibility for his supporters-led attack on the United States Congress recommended a criminal prosecution against him. A judge in Georgia has also promised an “immediate” decision on the political pressure he was exerting in that state.
“These are far-left, radical prosecutors who are absolutely horrible people,” Trump said.
Despite these setbacks, be careful not to bury Donald Trump too quickly, his supporters reiterate.
The tribune, whose fall has been announced thousands of times, has so far survived all scandals. He could also benefit greatly from the impending unbanning of his Facebook and Instagram accounts and find a formidable megaphone there.
Donald Trump or someone else… The candidate chosen by the Republican camp at the end of this primary will face the Democratic Party nominee in November 2024.
President Joe Biden has so far said he “intends to run again” and promised to make his decision public earlier this year.
The architecture of his possible candidacy is also taking shape.
The 80-year-old leader will be in New York next Tuesday and in Philadelphia on Friday to meet with wealthy supporters to help fund his party’s coffers.
Political experts are predicting a possible announcement after his State of the Union address, a traditional political address by presidents to parliamentarians – and scheduled for February 7.