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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Trump showed tough attitude after announcing his candidacy

NEW YORK ( Associated Press) – Coming out of the White House after losing last year, Donald Trump has toyed with the possibility of running for president for a third time. But in the week since he officially announced his candidacy, the former president has maintained an unusual, low-key attitude toward him.

There hasn’t been a huge stadium opening for his campaign, which is remarkable for someone who has made such events a feature of his public life. His newly rehabilitated Twitter account, which helped propel his political rise nearly a decade ago, is silent to his more than 87 million followers.

He has not announced plans to visit the key early voting states that will shape the race for the Republican nomination, nor has he offered a series of high-profile interviews. In fact, Trump has not held a public event since the speech in which he made his announcement.

Veteran Republican strategist Scott Reid, referring to that department’s investigation, said, “The fact that he doesn’t have a program makes you wonder if he’s really running or if it’s just a business development opportunity.” Or something to distract the Justice Department.” The way Trump handled the secret documents and his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results are expected to intensify in the coming weeks.

Trump had never held public office before being elected president in 2016, nor has he ever appreciated the cadence and organization of traditional campaigns. And several aides noted that the former president, who unusually made his announcement a week before the Thanksgiving holiday, does not want to be sidetracked by the runoff election for Georgia’s Senate seat, which will take place on Dec. 6, with which this year’s Mid-term elections will be held. The aide, who insisted on anonymity so they could discuss campaign strategies, said Trump would soon ramp up his campaign activities.

But the campaign’s low-key start reflected the hasty and chaotic nature of his announcement, while midterm votes were still being counted and some of his closest advisers and allies urged him to hold off on his announcement until after the Georgia runoff. Was over. It also comes at a time of particular political vulnerability for Trump.

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The former president has positioned himself as the undisputed leader of the Republican Party in his post-White House years, but now faces fierce criticism within the party for contributing to a dismal showing in this month’s midterm elections. . And other Republicans are openly flirting with their own presidential bid, making it clear they will not stand aside to nominate Trump.

Meanwhile, the legal pressure on the former President is intensifying. Attorney General Merrick Garland held a hearing last week to examine key aspects of the Justice Department’s investigation of classified documents recovered from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, as well as a separate investigation dating back to January 6, 2021. Appointed special prosecutor. An insurrection at the federal capitol and an attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 election. And on Tuesday, the Supreme Court gave the go-ahead to the impending distribution of Trump’s tax returns to a legislative committee after a three-year legal dispute.

In any case, Trump enters the race with a clear advantage. The former president had been serving as the de facto candidate for months, and had been running a political campaign for some time. After two campaigns for the presidency and four years in office, he also has longstanding relationships with state and local party leaders, including many who remain loyal to him.

Meanwhile, Trump has been performing at several private events. Last week he hosted the America First Policy Institute’s “Gala and Experience” event at Mar-a-Lago, which included policy sessions, a Thursday night concert with country star Lee Greenwood, a golf tournament and a Black Friday night -Tie gala included. In which Trump made comments criticizing Garland’s decision to appoint a special counsel.

Trump also appeared via video at a Conservative Political Action Congress in Mexico and answered questions live via video at the annual Republican Jewish Coalition Leadership meeting in Las Vegas, where a long list of other potential contenders for the 2024 nomination who appeared in person. , saluted the donors. Some argued it was time to leave the Trump era behind.

Trump said, “As you know, our country is in very, very serious trouble…it’s in big trouble, I can assure you.”

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The former president has also endorsed a number of politicians, including his colleagues in Congress such as Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Paul Gosar, Ronnie Jackson and Alice Stefanik, as well as Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake. . not elected.

And his campaign team, which has yet to fill a long list of top job vacancies, is working to recruit staff and develop the essentials of a modern campaign organization, including databases and donor information. This includes integrating inventories and negotiating with suppliers.

The outbreak now stands in stark contrast to June 2015, when Trump launched his victorious campaign for the White House at Trump Tower, attracting widespread media attention, making shocking claims and outrageous announcements.

“When Mexico sends its people, it doesn’t send the best,” Trump declared at the time. “They bring drugs, they bring crime, they are rapists and some, I think, are good people.”

The next day, Trump went to Manchester, New Hampshire – he eventually won that state’s Republican primary – and later held rallies in Arizona, South Carolina and Iowa.

Trump’s approach also contrasts with many of his potential rivals, who have toured early voting states in the past few months and tried to stand up to media appearances.

For example, former Vice President Mike Pence has given more than 40 interviews and has been promoting his new book.

Dan Eberhart, a former Trump campaign donor who said he intends to nominate Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said last week that he had “confirmed some things we suspected.”

“We now know that several candidates are planning to run for the nomination. At this time, no one appears ready to offer the nomination to Trump or DeSantis,” Eberhart said. “We also know that many in the party are prepared to move forward without Trump. DeSantis currently appears to be his successor. We’ll have to see if he can stay in that position, but I don’t see many potential candidates other than Trump who can challenge him.”

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