As predicted, The Donald officially launched his bid to be president again in a late-night speech at the Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach.
“I am tonight announcing my candidacy for president of the United States,” the nation’s 45th president told a crowd of supporters from a stage filled with American flags.
Reaction to the announcement was predictably far-ranging: Trump’s loyal “MAGA” supporters are eager for him to fight the Democrats, the national media, and the Republican RINOs again. Just as predictable are the “Never Trump” Republicans who refuse to support him.
As far as more muted reactions, Jenny Beth Martin of Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund struck a noncommittal tone in a statement. Trump, she said, was a “strong and effective” leader with a proven track record on the economy, immigration, foreign policy, and nominating judges. As far as supporting his candidacy, however, Martin said Tea Party Patriots will “concern ourselves with the 2024 presidential nominating process sometime after the Georgia senate runoff is over.”
Trump’s announcement is especially personal for attorney Jenna Ellis. During the former president’s one term, she served as a campaign legal advisor and personal attorney to Trump. She spent hours with her boss and his inner circle in the White House, including in the famous Oval Office, and she still remains grateful for the rare experience.
“He is exactly the same one-on-one as he is at one of his rallies, where he’s just talking to 50,000 of his closest friends,” she shared with the AFR “Today’s Issues” program Tuesday morning hours before Trump’s expected announcement.
Ellis, who is set to host a morning show on AFR in January, shared the story of taking her dad to the annual Christmas party at the White House. After President Trump learned she was bringing her dad, Dave, the President arranged to meet them privately during the party, where he told her dad one-on-one he should be proud of his daughter.
In a separate interview with AFN, Ellis was asked about Republicans who are suggesting Trump’s time has come and gone, and it’s now time for another GOP candidate.
“There are a lot of Republicans right now that are circling the bandwagons and saying that Donald Trump should not be the nominee for 2024,” she advises. “I think that is far too premature.”
Trump, however, is sizing up his expected Republican competitors and is resorting to his now-familiar insults and jabs for likely opponents such as Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis.
On the same day Trump made his announcement, Gov. DeSantis was delivering a keynote address to the Republican Governor’s Association meeting in Orlando. In the speech, he pointed out his landslide victory Nov. 8 included record-breaking support in Miami-Dade County, a Democrat stronghold. He said that “Florida blueprint” can help Republican candidates reach Hispanics, independents, and women across the country.
DeSantis also urged fellow governors to address education and “woke curriculum” in the schools, Fox News reported.
As far as Trump’s tongue-lashing attacks, Ellis says nobody is surprised anymore by Trump’s behavior and it’s doubtful it will change. On the other hand, she adds, nobody can suggest Trump isn’t ready to fight.
“The one thing that has been consistent among the Left is that they hate Trump. Period,” she tells AFN.
If another GOP candidate wins the presidential primary to face a Democrat in 2024, Ellis added, that person better be ready for the same level of unhinged attacks that Trump has endured as a candidate and as president.