Saturday’s visit will serve as an early barometer of Trump’s support and his message. But he has so far struggled to rekindle the energy of his previous run, and has so far refrained from the usual barnstorming after campaign kickoff. critical, and many longtime allies have withheld their support, even though polls show Trump at or near the top, as a potentially crowded field has formed.
“What campaign?” Terry Sullivan, the campaign manager for Florida Senator Marco Rubio’s 2016 presidential campaign, said when asked how he thought Trump’s first few months were going. He said: He pointed to Trump’s widely criticized dinner with rappers Ye and Nick Fuentes, known for their anti-Semitic views, as his most notable activity since the announcement.
In a statement, Trump campaign spokesman Stephen Zhang said the former president will be working with his leadership team this weekend to “show the significant support he has, from grassroots leaders to elected officials.” “No one can generate enthusiasm and excitement like President Trump.”
But many Republicans are looking ahead of the former president as polls show Ron DeSantis will be a formidable Trump challenger, with one saying Florida’s governor is Trump in Granite State. The Republican Party’s three consecutive losses have weighed heavily on Republicans’ minds, too. Republicans are accusing Trump of promoting a flawed, unverified candidate who accepted his complaints and false claims in the midterm elections.
In 2016, Trump ran for office as a chaotic outsider aiming to found the Republican Party. In 2020, he was named incumbent. Currently, he is in a more uncertain position and faces several investigations.
Saturday’s event will provide more insight into Trump’s pitch and voter reception as he competes with DeSantis and other potential rivals for the spotlight at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida in November. Since starting his campaign by addressing at . Rather than holding the mass rallies he is famous for, Trump has exploded with support and policy ideas on his media, his platform, Truth Social.
As Trump joins Senator Lindsay O. Graham (R) and South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) in small rallies where allies are struggling, setting his campaign suspension , which may further accentuate the contrast with past election campaigns. to gain wider support.
But few critics and supporters are ready to rule out Trump, who has a long history of defying expectations. His campaign triumphed last week when Mehta said he would revive Trump’s accounts on his Facebook and Instagram, which were key fundraising tools for the former president. The company suspended him for two years after a pro-Trump mob stormed the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. This was fueled by Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election was stolen from him. Trump’s praise and encouragement of the mob prompted his swift removal.
The polls have highlighted Trump’s vulnerability, with recent polls giving DeSantis the edge in head-to-head competition. His 64% of Republican and right-leaning voters backed DeSantis, while 36% backed Trump, according to Market’s law school poll released this week.
Republican New Hampshire delegate Bill Bowen, who attends Saturday’s meeting, said many Republicans he talks to have clear lessons from the midterm elections. It backed candidates who fell short in key races in elections – Senate contests including battleground state New Hampshire.
“We really need a candidate who can appeal to the middle class,” Bowen said in an interview Friday. “The question is how do we do that without alienating Trump-ish voters?” For Bowen, the answer is his DeSantis.
Ahead of his events in New Hampshire and South Carolina, Trump released a video explaining how to combat the “radical left” in education, specifically by restricting what DeSantis teaches in schools. Indulged in a problem that pleased. Trump has promised to “cut federal funding to any school or program that promotes critical racial theories.” It’s an academic framework for understanding racism that has sparked conservative outrage nationwide. ”
Trump also recently took part in the Republican debate on entitlement programs, urging the party not to cut Medicare and Social Security as some Republican lawmakers want drastic changes as a condition of raising the debt ceiling later this year. Democrats have widely attacked Republicans for increasing the likelihood of cuts, even though many Republican leaders have distanced themselves from the idea.
Democrats echoed criticism of Trump for being extreme ahead of Saturday’s event. denounced the president. Roe v. Wade case A 1973 Supreme Court decision established the constitutional right to abortion and criticized him for “radical policies and divisive rhetoric.”
Trump is scheduled to address the New Hampshire Republican Party conference in Salem at noon. New Hampshire Republican Governor Chris Sununu has been highly critical of President Trump and has not ruled out running for president. His office told local news station NBC 5 that he has no plans to attend.
Later in the day, in South Carolina, two other potential candidates for 2024 will be conspicuously absent from Trump’s event. Senator Tim Scott (RS.C.) and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. He said that if the former president ran, he would not run. People close to Scott and Haley say they’re both serious about running for president.
The fact that Haley and two other members of the Trump Cabinet — former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former Vice President Mike Pence — are all deliberating is that “we are aligned with the former president. ‘That’s one signal,’ said Bob. Vander Platz, an influential evangelical leader in Iowa, urged Republicans to move away from Trump.
“The field is very wide open,” says Vander Plaats.
People familiar with the call, who spoke on condition of anonymity to share the private conversation, said Graham, who plans to endorse Trump on Saturday, said he has a good chance of winning the nomination, so people are considering Trump. Some state legislators have told Trump’s team that they can’t attend, according to people familiar with the matter.
Michael Scherer and Josh Dawsey contributed to this report.