The lukewarm response to former President Trump’s announcement that he will run for the White House again could give other Republicans who are still deciding whether or not to run against him in 2024 a critical opening.
Even though Trump‘s most loyal supporters praised his campaign launch on Tuesday, most people were sceptical of his performance, which was unusually quiet. This showed how the former president’s position in the GOP seems to have weakened since the midterm elections. That could make it easier for Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), who just won the midterm elections and has the wind at his back, and other people who want to run against him to do so.
One Republican strategist said, “I think a lot of people today are looking at that speech and seeing an opening.” “He’s up there trying to explain the midterms and calling himself a victim. It seemed more like he was showing off his flaws than making a good case for running again.”
Trump has undoubtedly been written off before. When he made his first, and so far only, successful run for the White House in 2015, many Republicans didn’t take him seriously. They thought he was more of an attention-seeking pariah than a serious presidential candidate.
“I can’t give up on him. Ford O’Connell, a Republican strategist and former congressional candidate, said, “He’s still the favourite.” “I think what you saw last night was a sign that people know 2024 will differ from 2016 and 2020. But he made it clear that, even though he used to be president, he still wanted to be on the outside.
The Republican Party moving forward needs to be focused on the future and the results of these midterm elections confirm that. pic.twitter.com/kTLA8DFSiX
— Mike Pence (@Mike_Pence) November 16, 2022
O’Connell said that Trump’s announcement had the right tone. O’Connell said that instead of his usual bombast, Trump chose to talk more about issues like inflation, border security, and crime. This made it clear that he was different from President Biden.
“Trump put on his 2024 game face in talking about the issues. “I think what you saw from him was that he knew 2024 would be different from 2016, 2020, and 2016, 2020,” O’Connell said. “I think one thing he wants to do in the future is compared and contrast his administration with the Biden administration.”
Still, what O’Connell saw as focus, others saw as “low-energy,” as one former ally put it, and a significant change from the speeches and rallies that had won over many Republicans.
And Trump is starting his campaign at a time when Republicans are already questioning his role in the party. During the midterm elections, several high-profile candidates backed by Trump lost critical federal and state offices. This led many members of the Republican Party to blame the candidates’ poor showings on the controversial political brand of the former president.
Republicans are likely to win a narrow majority in the House. Still, they didn’t win back control of the Senate and missed a chance to change governorships in states like Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. There are signs that Trump’s start to his campaign is already making the Republican presidential primary race more contentious.
Mike Pompeo, Trump’s former Secretary of State and a possible candidate for the Republican primary in 2024 took a thinly veiled shot at his former boss on Wednesday when he tweeted that Americans need “leaders who are looking forward, not looking in the rearview mirror and claiming victimhood.” This tweet seemed to be about Trump’s repeated claims that he was a “victim” on Tuesday.
Former Vice President Mike Pence, also running for the White House, said on “Fox & Friends” that Republicans will “have better choices” than Trump in 2024. On Capitol Hill, the announcement made by Trump was also met with a lukewarm reception.
And Stephen A. Schwarzman, the chief executive officer of the private equity firm Blackstone and a significant donor to the Republican Party, told Axios in a statement that he would not support the former president’s comeback bid, saying that he would support another eventual candidate for the party’s 2024 nomination instead. This statement was released after Trump’s announcement on Tuesday.
“It is time for the Republican Party to turn to a new generation of leaders, and I intend to support one of them in the presidential primary,” he added. “It is time for the Republican Party to turn to a new generation of leaders.”
Despite Trump’s best attempts to eliminate potential rivals, there is currently no room for question inside the Republican party that further candidates will enter the presidential race. According to the statements of one Republican contributor, the revelation made by Trump removes any doubts that may have remained about his intentions and sets the way for potential competitors to enter the race.
The contributor added that it was always crucial for Trump to announce first because his spotlight was dimming. “It was always important for Trump to announce first,” the donor said. “For him to continue to be relevant, he needs the campaign. I think most of the other contenders can take their time, but at least they are aware of his position.
However, it is DeSantis, who won reelection last week in a landslide, who is likely the most significant obstacle in the way of Trump’s attempt to regain power. Even while Trump is still the most well-liked Republican candidate in the country, new polling indicates that DeSantis is gaining steam in a hypothetical primary matchup against the former president and is even ahead of him in Florida among Republican voters.
Polling data released Monday by the conservative Club for Growth showed that Donald Trump’s support among voters in Iowa and New Hampshire, the first two states to vote in presidential nomination elections, was lower than that of Ron DeSantis by double-digit proportions.
In the survey conducted by the group in Florida, Trump was found to be trailing DeSantis by a margin of 26 percentage points. Keith Naughton, a veteran Republican strategist, said that “the polling numbers are already trending in the wrong direction for Trump, and in the one state where DeSantis and Trump are on a level playing field when it comes to naming recognition and engagement, it’s even worse for him.”
“The polling numbers are already trending in the wrong direction for Trump.” “That demonstrates that Trump has a problem when people see both sides by the side,” the analyst said.
Naughton believes that Trump’s entry into the race may have the reverse effect of what some Republicans thought he was trying to do when he made his early campaign announcement, which was to exclude possible competitors.
“He let us down after promising fireworks for months leading up to the announcement,” Naughton said. “We all knew he would announce for president, but he delivered a dud.” “It was hardly the kind of incident that is likely to cause someone to change their plans,” the narrator said.
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