Donald Trump Announces That He’s Definitely Running in 2024 – But Will Republicans Let Him?
There has been much back-and-forth speculation over the past few months as to whether Donald Trump would run for president
There has been much back-and-forth speculation over the past few months as to whether Donald Trump would run for president again.
Earlier this year, he spoke on a podcast episode of the Nelk Boys' Fullsend Podcast, saying he would run – but then backed off from the verbiage.
There's a reason Trump has been so hesitant to commit himself; once he announces officially, his campaign's coffers become subject to campaign finance laws, which are intentionally restrictive.
But this week, Trump made it clear that he is indeed running – and all that's left for him to decide is when to make the formal announcement.
He’s Definitely Running – But You Didn’t Hear it From Him (Shh!)
It's official: Donald Trump for President, 2024.
But, Trump says, what's up in the air is whether he will announce before the midterms or after – a proposition that has Republican strategists sweating profusely.
One has to wonder why Trump is so openly announcing his intent to run without making it official, and the reasoning could be multi-layered:
- Republican leaders have been begging Trump not to announce before the midterm elections this fall. Experts believe that if he announces at the wrong time, it could drive Democrats and anti-Trump Independents to the polls in record numbers, upsetting what the Republicans believe should be a cakewalk for them during midterms. By playing coy, Trump may hope that the Federal Elections Commissions forces his hand and requires him to announce so when the Republicans come to him and say they thought he wasn't going to announce before the midterms, he can honestly say he had no choice.
- Trump may also be enjoying the power he holds right now. With Republicans desperate to stall his announcement until after midterms, right now he can wring any concessions or agreements he wants from them to stay silent. Whether or not they'll stick to those agreements after the midterm is probably a point of great speculation among Trump's team.
- Speculation and uncertainty makes headlines, and right now Trump is desperate for headlines that don't focus on his culpability for January 6.
Trump recently spoke with New York Magazine, per WKBN Youngstown; "'Well, in my own mind, I've already made that decision, so nothing factors in anymore. In my own mind, I've already made that decision,' he said.
He added, 'Do I go before or after? That will be my big decision.'"
Trump went on to explain that he believes announcing early could dissuade other Republican hopefuls from announcing, "Let people know. I think a lot of people would not even run if I did that because, if you look at the polls, they don't even register. Most of these people. And I think that you would actually have a backlash against them if they ran. People want me to run."
Of course, recent polls paint a different picture than the president – with less than half the party enthused about a potential primary match-up between him and other GOP hopefuls.
Announcing before the midterms would be good for the former President, but could tie the Republican party more closely than ever to the Trump image, something mega-donors are hesitant to do as they begin to look for other candidates to back.
The Call Heard ‘Round the World
All of these rumblings come on the heels of news broken this week that Trump tried to call a January 6 witness.
Tampering with witnesses is of course highly illegal, so the information that Trump tried to directly contact a witness ahead of their public hearing is of great concern to the House panel and legal experts.
WKBN reports, "A host for Newsmax, a media outlet viewed as sympathetic toward the former president, claimed that Trump may have 'butt-dialed' the witness.
'Hey, maybe it was a butt-dial, huh? Tell the Justice Department that. OK, they take themselves so seriously,' Newsmax host Greg Kelly said in Trump’s defense."
Republican Senator from Utah Mitt Romney found that suggestion anything but laughable, saying, "I can’t imagine why he’d have a witness on his cellphone, making a pocket-dial, so that’s not terribly credible. If in fact, he was calling a witness, that allegation is very serious."
The deck continues to stack against former President Trump as the House panel's hearings march onward; announcing his candidacy may be the only way he can deflect the heat right now. Unfortunately for the Republicans, it could also mean doom for the 2022 election cycle and ultimately 2024.