Sun. Dec 4th, 2022

Former US President Donald Trump is preparing to launch his third campaign for the White House on Tuesday, seeking to move on from disappointing midterm defeats and defy history amid signs that his hold on the Republican Party is waning.

Trump had hoped to use the GOP’s expected gains in last week’s election as a springboard to clinch his party’s nomination. Instead, he is blamed for supporting a series of losing candidates after Republicans failed to take control of the Senate.

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While the party was on the verge of regaining control of the House of Representatives on Tuesday, it could end up with its narrowest majority in decades.

“Let’s hope that tomorrow will be one of the most important days in the history of our country!” Trump wrote on his social network on Monday. An announcement was expected on Tuesday at 9:00 PM EST from his club in Palm Beach.

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Another campaign is a remarkable turnaround for any former president, much less one who made history as the first to be impeached twice and whose term ended with supporters storming the US Capitol in a deadly bid to halt a peaceful transition. authorities on June 1, 2021.

Click to play video: 'US midterms: Democrats predicted to win Senate as some GOP point finger at Trump for losses'

US midterms: Democrats predicted to win Senate as some GOP point finger at Trump for losses

Only one president in the history of the USA was elected for two non-consecutive terms: Grover Cleveland in 1884 and 1892.

Trump is also facing a series of intensified criminal investigations, including a Justice Department investigation into hundreds of classified documents that were discovered in boxes and drawers at his Mar-a-Lago club.

Aides and allies have urged Trump to wait until the midterm elections are over — and then the Georgia Senate runoff on Dec. 6 — to announce his plans. But Trump, eager to return to the spotlight, also hopes to fend off a long list of potential challengers, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who won re-election last week and is now being urged by many in his party to run for president well.

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Trump tried to blame Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell for the GOP performance — and McConnell’s allies criticized Rick Scott, the Florida senator who heads the Senate Republican campaign committee.

However, Trump has taken the brunt of the criticism for elevating candidates in states like Pennsylvania and Arizona who were unappealing to general election voters because they embraced his lies about the 2020 election or held hard-line views on issues like abortion that were out of step with the mainstream.

While Trump has the support of the No. 3 Republican in the House, Rep. Elisa Stefanik, others have already moved on.

Asked whether she would support Trump in 2024, Republican Sen. Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming told reporters Monday, “I don’t think that’s a real question. I think the question is who is the current leader of the Republican Party?”

Click to play video: 'US Midterm Elections: Control of Congress Remains Unknown as Trump Faces GOP Battle'

US midterms: Control of Congress remains uncertain as Trump faces battle in GOP

Her answer to that question: “Ron DeSantis.”

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Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, a longtime Trump critic, compared Trump to a pitcher who keeps losing after the GOP’s disappointments in 2018, 2020 and now 2022.

“He was on the mound and lost three games in a row. If we want to start winning, we need someone else on the hill. And we have a very strong bench that can come out,” Romney said. “I know, there are some fans who love him. Just like, you know, an aging pitcher, they’re always fans who want to keep them there forever. But if you keep losing games, try to put new players on the pitch.”

Others expressed concern that Trump’s announcement would distract from the Georgia race and urged potential candidates to focus on it.

“What’s really important for anyone who wants to be a candidate in 2024 is to help us right now in 2022 to finish the cycle by winning the state of Georgia,” said Sen. John Thune, RS.D.

“Obviously, we had higher expectations in the Senate, which were not fulfilled. I think there are a lot of different things that contribute to that,” Thune added. “But I think that, you know, people who have been overly focused on the 2020 election, that’s not a winning strategy with independent votes.”

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Even the former president’s right-wing allies in the House Freedom Caucus stayed away before Trump’s announcement.

“I’m focused on what’s going on here,” said Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., chairman of the Freedom Caucus, as lawmakers returned to Capitol Hill on Monday. “I just don’t pay attention to any of those things, so I don’t want to comment on that.”

Meanwhile, in Utah, 86 Republican lawmakers sent out a press release Monday urging DeSantis to run, reflecting their displeasure with Trump as their party’s standard-bearer. The state’s Mormon majority has long been skeptical of Trump’s isolationism and foul language.

And in Michigan, Paul Cordes, chief of staff for the Michigan Republican Party, wrote a four-page internal memo criticizing Trump-backed candidates for a “statewide sweep” that would give Democrats full control of state government for the first time in 40 years. years. That includes Tudor Dixon, who lost the governor’s race to Democratic incumbent Gretchen Whitmer by double digits.

Trump, Cordes wrote, was “popular with our citizens and a motivating factor for his supporters, but he posed challenges in elections across the state, particularly with independent candidates and women in midterm elections.”

Click to play video: 'Ron DeSantis' midterm win puts Trump, 2024 in focus'

Ron DeSantis’ midterm victory puts Trump, 2024 in focus

Rep. Liz Cheney, another Trump critic mulling her own bid in 2024, highlighted the losses of Trump-backed candidates speaking Tuesday morning at The Washington Post’s Global Women’s Summit.

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“This is certainly not the presentation that Donald Trump wanted for his announcement tonight. But it’s also not the first time he’s been completely disconnected from reality,” Cheney said. “There is no doubt that he is unfit for office. And I am convinced that he will never be president again.”

Meanwhile, Josh Holmes, a Republican consultant close to McConnell, said Trump remains “by far the favorite” entering the race. But Holmes also said a third presidential run would be vastly different for Trump.

“There has never been a pre-election victory of a presidential candidate that was conducted in a backward-looking manner. It’s all about the future,” Holmes said.

As for DeSantis, Holmes said, “His national profile right now is undeniable. … We’ll find out” if he can maintain that strength.