(Daily Mail) Senior Republicans have slammed Donald Trump’s decision to run again for the presidency, saying it could cost them an election win in 2024.
Leaders and donors have rounded on the former president who announced his reelection bid in a speech last night at his Mar-a-Lago home, vowing to ‘make America great and glorious again.’
Governors, representatives, aides, and businessmen have said it is ‘time for a change’ from his ‘crazy’ MAGA agenda, and there are ‘better choices’ for the party, such as the highly rated Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Mick Mulvaney, a former loyal Trump aide who served as his chief of staff from January 2019 to March 2020, was asked by CNN‘s Anderson Cooper whether he thought Trump’s announcement was good for the party.
‘No, I don’t,’ Mulvaney said. ‘Because I think he’s the only Republican who could lose.
‘If he wins in 2024, now he’s the candidate, he is the likely Republican nominee. Can he be beaten head-to-head by Ron DeSantis or Tim Scott? Sure.
‘But it’s not going to be a head-to-head race. There will be five or six other people in the race and he’ll get the 35 percent that really support him and under the winner-take-all primary system, he’ll be the nominee.’
Mike Pence was one of the biggest names to criticize Trump’s decision, with the former vice president saying yesterday: ‘I think we’ll have better choices.’
Asa Hutchinson, the governor of Arkansas, agreed, saying: ‘Trump is correct on Biden’s failures, but his self-indulging message promoting anger has not changed. It didn’t work in 2022 and won’t work in 2024. There are better choices.’
Chris Christie, a former Trump advisor and Governor of New Jersey, said voters had clearly ‘rejected crazy’ at the ballot box multiple times after MAGA candidates suffered shock defeats in the midterms.
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu added: ‘He’s doing it from a place of defensiveness, of his own self-opportunity and weakness. So he’s announcing he’s going to run for president at a low point in his political career. I don’t know how that’s going to work out, man.’
Ricky Caplin, a top Republican donor and technology entrepreneur from Florida, said: ‘I have tremendous respect for President Trump and the effectiveness of some of his policies and initiatives, but I think it’s time for a change for our party and country.’
Donald Trump is seen on Tuesday with his wife Melania, announcing his 2024 campaign
Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s former chief of staff, said Trump’s 2024 run was not good for the Republican party
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was applauded Tuesday at a Republican governors’ conference in Orlando for blaming the GOP’s failures in the last three elections on former President Donald Trump
Christie, speaking to a crowd of hundreds yesterday including governors, high-level donors, and consultants, said Trump was responsible for Republican losses in 2020 and 2018 as well.
He said Republicans were plagued by bad candidates, including Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano, whose governor’s bid ended with him losing by nearly 15 points to the state’s Attorney General Josh Shapiro.
Mastriano held hard-right views on issues like abortion, which didn’t play well in the purple state.
And a major news story out of the race was when a photo surfaced of the candidate wearing a Confederate Civil War uniform, despite the fact that he represented Gettysburg and Pennsylvanians who fought in the Civil War for the North.
Christie, a former chair of the Republican Governors Association, reminded the crowd that there were 31 Republican governors when he departed in 2014.
Now, there are 26.
Axios’ sources said that Christie blamed the losses on Trump picking the candidates – and choosing those based on loyalty over electability.
Yet despite being advised by many that the moment was not right to launch a campaign, Trump on Tuesday evening officially announced he is running for president for the third time.
He used his speech to attack President Biden, the ‘radical left’ Democrats, and their record on the economy and the world stage in the two years since he left office.
The former president ignored Republican critics and those who blamed him for the GOP‘s disappointing midterms to go full steam on stating his intent to be back in the Oval Office to ‘drain the swamp’ with the country ‘being destroyed before our very lives.’
‘In order to make America great and glorious again, I am today announcing my candidacy for president of the United States,’ he confirmed to huge cheers before laying into the FBI raid, the ‘fake’ dossier,’ the ‘deep state’ and lobbyists.
Despite not formally making his announcement until later in the speech, Trump made his intentions clear from the outset by telling his audience: ‘America’s comeback starts right now.’
‘Three years ago when I left office, the United States stood ready for its golden age. Our nation was at the pinnacle of power, prosperity and prestige – towering above all rivals vanquishing all enemies and striding into the future confident, resourceful,’ Trump said.
He vowed to make his run about working people, restoring American energy independence, reforming elections to make sure there are ‘only paper ballots’ and restoring an ‘agenda of greatness’ with top Republicans and the media saying he should stay out of the race.
Trump peppered his speech with various campaign promises, some of which are similar to statements he’s made in campaign-style rallies this year. He said he would hand the death penalty to drug dealers, ban transgender women from playing female sports, plant an American flag on Mars, build a nuclear ‘missile shield,’ and rehire service members who were fired for being unvaccinated.
‘This will not be my campaign. This will be our campaign all together. Because the only force strong enough to defeat the massive corruption we are up against is you, the American people,’ he said while celebrating the last six years of the MAGA movement, his midterm endorsements, and his battle against Washington.
After months of speculation and with mounting legal battles, he filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission just moments before he began his speech to fired-up supporters at Mar-a-Lago where he said America ‘can’t take’ four more years of Biden.
‘The decline of America is being forced upon us by Biden and the radical left lunatics running our government right into the ground,’ Trump said.
In his stately ballroom with opulent gold trimmings and chandeliers, he was introduced as the ‘next president’ to chants of ‘USA.’
Speaking for just over an hour, Trump made defiant and sometimes somber remarks about the state of the country, hours after Mitch McConnell said independent voters had the ‘impression of many of the people in our party and leadership roles is that they are involved in chaos.’
The former president went on to attack Biden for record inflation, ‘falling asleep at global conferences’ and making the U.S. ‘detestable’ with the rest of the world. He celebrated Nancy Pelosi getting ‘fired’ with Republicans on the cusp of taking the House majority.
But taking a page out of his White House successor’s 2020 playbook, Trump vowed to ‘unify people’ and claimed he did so during his last term.
‘It happened in the previous administration,’ Trump said. ‘And what was bringing them together was success.’
The crowd roared when he and Melania Trump arrived to the tune of his signature theme, Lee Greenwood’s God Bless The USA.
Before that, applause rang out for the arrival of his family members – Eric Trump, his wife Lara, Trump’s youngest child Barron, 16, and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
Kushner, who served as a White House advisor during Trump’s last term, raised eyebrows by arriving without his wife Ivanka – who released a statement after the speech that she loved her father but was ‘choosing to prioritize my young children and the private life we are creating as a family’ and would stay ‘out of the political arena.’
Tiffany Trump, who just got married at Mar-a-Lago on Saturday, was also not present. Nor was Donald Trump Jr., who was on a hunting trip and could not catch a flight in time to attend the event due to bad weather, according to RealClearPolitics.
His family was seated in the front row for Trump’s special announcement, arriving just a few minutes before him
The only member of Congress DailyMail.com spotted at the event was outgoing GOP Rep. Madison Cawthorn
Allies like MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell (pictured with his fist in the air) whooped and cheered each of Trump’s campaign promises
Trump said Afghanistan was the most ’embarrassing moment in the history of our country’ and tore into the Biden administration border policies that have led to an ‘invasion’ and fentanyl ‘pouring’ into our country.
‘We are here tonight to declare that it does not have to be this way – it does not have to be this way – two years ago we were a great nation and soon we will be a great nation again,’ he added.
‘The only force strong enough to defeat the massive corruption we are up against it’s you, the American people’, he went on. ‘It’s not about politics, it’s about love for this great nation’.
In a line he has used before, he told the audience: ‘I didn’t need this. I had an easy life’.
‘This is something I didn’t need, and a lot of you people don’t need either, but we have to take care of our country. We love our country, we need to save our country,’ the former president said.
Trump also threw his weight behind Herschel Walker ahead of his Georgia run-off on December 6 against Raphael Warnock for the final Senate seat up for grabs.
‘We must all work very hard for a gentleman and a great person named Herschel Walker, he will be a great United States senator,’ the ex-president said. ‘Get out and vote for Herschel and he deserves it. He was an incredible athlete, he’ll be an even better senator.’
But he’ll be hitting the campaign trail without Ivanka as a surrogate, despite her being one of the more popular members of his last administration.
‘I love my father very much. This time around, I am choosing to prioritize my young children and the private life we are creating as a family. I do not plan to be involved in politics,’ she wrote in a statement after the speech.
‘While I will always love and support my father, going forward I will do so outside of the political arena. I am grateful to have had the honor of serving the American people and I will always be proud of many of our Administration’s accomplishments.’
South Carolina GOP Senator Lindsey Graham was among the first of Trump’s supporters to laud the announcement.
‘If President Trump continues this tone and delivers this message on a consistent basis, he will be hard to beat. His speech tonight, contrasting his policies and results against the Biden Administration, charts a winning path for him in the primaries and general election,’ Graham wrote on Twitter.
Texas Rep. Ronny Jackson, who served as the White House physician for multiple presidents including Trump, tweeted: ‘Trump just announced he’s running for President in 2024. THIS IS HISTORIC.’
Trump’s announcement comes the same day as a new poll showed the ex-president with a commanding lead in a field of potential 2024 candidates, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has yet to rule out his own White House campaign against Trump.
The former president has responded by calling the governor ‘disloyal,’ ‘average’ and ‘Ron DeSanctimonious’ amid a flurry of other insults.
Asked about that criticism on Tuesday, DeSantis suggested he was unfazed – but went out of his way to target ‘the corporate media’ more directly than the former president.
‘When you’re leading, when you’re getting things done, yeah you take incoming fire – that’s just the nature of it,’ DeSantis said.
‘I roll out of bed in the morning, I’ve got corporate media outlets just having a spasm over the fact that I’m getting up in the morning. And it’s constantly attacking, and this is just what’s happened.’
He continued, ‘I think what you learn is, all that’s just noise. And really what matters is – are you leading, are you getting in front of issues, are you delivering results for people and are you standing up for folks? And if you do that, then none of that stuff matters.’
But DeSantis added as a final jab, ‘At the end of the day, I would just tell people to check out the scoreboard from last Tuesday night.’
Hours before the former president took the stage, advisers and allies like Jason Miller, Boris Epshteyn, and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell milled about the room.
Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich was also present.
Jason Miller told reporters that Trump would be laying out ‘all the campaign mechanics’ on Tuesday night.