Donald Trump, the twice-impeached former president who inspired an insurrection at the US Capitol, is poised to announce his 2024 presidential campaign, ignoring the advice of many Republicans who want him to wait until after a Georgia Senate runoff next month in hopes of locking up support for his candidacy.
The expected announcement in Florida at his Mar-a-Lago Club on Tuesday night (Wednesday afternoon, NZT), comes in a moment of political vulnerability for Trump as voters resoundingly rejected his endorsed candidates in last week’s midterm elections.
Since then, elected Republicans have been unusually forthright in blaming Trump for the party’s underperformance and potential rivals are already openly challenging Trump for the nomination.
Trump has been eager to reclaim the spotlight and pressure Republicans to line up behind him, inviting prominent party leaders to his launch event and keeping track of who attended.
Advisers spent much of the year lobbying Trump to hold off announcing until after the midterms, arguing that he might motivate Democratic voters or get drowned out by election news.
He finally agreed to promise a “very big announcement” for Tuesday, and stuck with that plan despite further efforts to convince him to wait until after next month’s runoff between Senator Raphael G Warnock and GOP candidate Herschel Walker.
“President Trump is going to announce on Tuesday that he’s running for president,” longtime spokesman Jason Miller said last Friday on former strategist Stephen K Bannon’s podcast.
Miller said Trump told him: “There doesn’t need to be any question. Of course I’m running. I’m going to do this, and I want to make sure people know I’m fired up and we’ve got to get the country back on track. . . . Everyone knows I’m going to run so let’s go get started.”
Trump’s urgency to announce also comes in part from wanting to get ahead of a potential indictment in any of the several ongoing criminal investigations into his conduct.