Donald Trump kicks off 2024 US presidential election bid
Former United States President Donald Trump kicked off his 2024 presidential election campaign with low-key events in New Hampshire and South Carolina on Saturday. He visited the two early-voting states and played down criticism that his campaign was off to a sluggish start. "Together, we will complete the unfinished business of making America great again," said Trump in Columbia, South Carolina, on Saturday evening.
Why does this story matter?
- Trump's presidential campaign has drawn a lot of controversies since its early stages, most notably when he dined with Holocaust-denying white supremacist Nick Fuentes and with rapper Ye (previously known by Kanye West), who made numerous anti-semitic comments.
- Trump also was mocked for selling digital trading cards which showed him as a cowboy, a superhero, an astronaut, and more.
Trump's South Carolina and New Hampshire events
The Saturday events were fairly muted in contrast to Trump's rowdy rallies amid the thunders of his followers that he often holds. In Columbia, he spoke to around 200 people at the state's capitol building, accompanied by US Senator Lindsey Graham and South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster. Notably, the slow start to his campaign has also raised questions about Trump's commitment to his reelection.
Republican Ron DeSantis, Trump's biggest threat
Many Republicans are contemplating whether to launch their own bids for the White House, including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is viewed as a massive threat to Trump. Top Republicans in both these states, including ex-South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu, are also among those considering their own bids, reported Reuters.
Trump criticizes illegal immigration and China in his address
During his stops in South Carolina and New Hampshire on Saturday, the former US president mirrored some of the themes that boosted his 2016 election bid, including bashing China and criticizing illegal immigration. Trump also highlighted several social issues, mainly in response to DeSantis, whose persistent emphasis on culture wars has enabled him to build his national image.
God created two genders, men and women: Trump
In one of his addresses, Trump asserted, "We're going to stop the left-wing radical racists and perverts who are trying to indoctrinate our youth, and we're going to get their Marxist hands off our children." In an apparent statement opposing transgender rights, he said, "We're going to defeat the cult of gender ideology and reaffirm that God created two genders: men and women."
Video of Trump's address
TRUMP: “We’re going to defeat the cult of gender ideology, and reaffirm that God created two genders called men and women.” pic.twitter.com/NOrdfIhWT7— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) January 28, 2023
Trump's low-key start to campaign
Trump has interestingly kept a relatively low profile since launching his 2024 presidential campaign in November last year. The former president was, however, in news when he called on numerous conservative Republicans in the US House of Representatives in January to vote for his ally, Kevin McCarthy, as the new speaker. While many ingoned his appeals, McCarthy was later elected after a crucial fight.