Trump running for president again; response is tepid

“Two years ago, we were a great nation, and soon we will be a great nation again,” Donald Trump said, moving his eyes from one teleprompter to the other. “In order to make America great and glorious again, I am tonight announcing my candidacy for president of the United States.”

Last night, Donald J. Trump (76) announced his candidacy for president for the third time. Speaking to a ballroom of supporters at his Florida hotel home, Mar-a-Lago, Trump told a tale of the America he left behind less than two years ago. He claimed the US had a great economy, secure borders, and was at peace.

The response from the major news outlets was a shift away from his last two campaigns. CNN listened in for 20 minutes, then cut away to commentary. MSNBC didn’t carry the speech at all. Fox, which had been carrying nearly every speech Trump made uninterrupted, cut away in the middle for a panel discussion.

Reporters in attendance noted that two of his children, Ivanka and Don Jr., didn’t attend the announcement.

At one point, Trump bizarrely claimed that his administration had gone decades without a war, although the war in Afghanistan was still going on and wasn't ended until his replacement ended it, and Trump was only in office for four years.

The rosy picture he painted completely ignored the pandemic, which was in full swing while he was president. At the time he left the Oval Office, 400,000 Americans had died, the economy had literally come to a stop, and much of the US was in lockdown.

Trump’s speech was missing several of his most frequent stump speech elements, such as the 2020 election fraud that he claims cost him the White House. By contrast, last night’s announcement speech was tame.

While some Republicans, like Lindsey Graham, embraced the announcement, others, both publicly and privately, have been reportedly expressing deep concern. Since the 2018 midterms, Trump’s losses outweigh his wins.

In 2018, Trump lost 40 seats in the House of Representatives. The Senate fared better, where four Democrats and one Republican lost their seats, giving the Republicans a 51-seat majority.

In 2020, Trump lost by over 7 million votes to Joe Biden. Despite over 60 lawsuits and years of alleged “evidence” that the election was rigged against Trump, no one has shown actionable evidence. In a telling piece of conduct, not one Republican who won on the same ballot has challenged their win while telling the tale of Trump’s loss.

The most recent midterms, where many Republicans predicted a "red tsunami," was a massive disappointment for the GOP. Trump claimed that his candidates, MAGA-aligned Republicans, won over 200 races but ignored the fact that many of the races where he lost were very high-profile, such as Fetterman/Oz (Senate) in Pennsylvania and Hobbs/Lake (Gov.) in Arizona.

The House looks like it will flip to a razor-thin GOP majority.

The Senate looks poised to remain in Democrat control if the runoff election in Georgia goes to Democrat Raphael Warnock. He is expected to defeat former football star Herschel Walker by a narrow margin, according to analysts. Warnock got about 37,000 more votes than Walker, but neither man got 50%, forcing a runoff by Georgia law. It’s unclear where the 81,000 people who voted for the Libertarian candidate will go without their candidate in the runoff.

During his speech, Trump made other claims that were misleading. The major ones included the strategic oil reverse (Trump didn’t fill it, and Biden hasn’t emptied it), tariffs on China (there have been tariffs on China for centuries), and presidential records (Obama took nothing that he wasn’t allowed to). His statement on gas prices ignores the context; the nation was amid lockdowns. No one was driving to work or anywhere else, so gas prices dropped when demand dropped.

Trump has not chosen a running mate, but it will not be former Vice-President Mike Pence who is doing the rounds of talk shows touting his new book.

Analysts, including ones from usually Trump-friendly outlets like Fox News, are expecting this will be a tougher fight than last time. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a former Trump acolyte, appears ready to battle his former leader for control. If the 2022 midterms are any sign, Trump’s brand of scorched earth, frontal assault politics is no longer resonating with the core of the Republican party.

The concern, of course, is that Trump will hand Joe Biden (79) another four years in the White House, not because of Biden’s popularity, but because of Trump’s unpopularity.

Image by Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America - Donald Trump, CC BY-SA 2.0,

Bob Peryea
National Correspondent
The Kentucky Daily

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