In what could turn out to be a disaster for Republicans who have their eye on retaking both the House and Senate in the upcoming midterm elections, failed one-term, twice-impeached former president Donald Trump has been telling those close to him that he is seriously considering launching his 2024 presidential campaign before a single ballot is cast later this year.
Rolling Stone reports that Trump also wants to make his announcement in Florida in an effort to blunt the momentum he senses building around Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), who is also considered to be seriously considering a bid for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination:
Donald Trump in recent months has been telling confidants that he may launch his 2024 presidential campaign early — and that he’s considering launching it in Florida to stick it to Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Trump has kicked around staging a large, flashy launch rally (with fireworks, of course) that would announce his White House bid before the 2022 midterm elections, according to three sources familiar with the matter.
People who’ve spoken to Trump say that one reason he’s eying the Sunshine State is to assert his dominance over an ascendant DeSantis, who — if they both run in 2024 — would likely be the former president’s most formidable competitor in a primary fight for the GOP nomination. One of the sources said Trump’s motivation is to show the governor “who the boss is” in the modern-day GOP.
News that the ex-president could be on the verge of making a formal announcement of his plans for 2024 has rattled many in the Republican Party, which fears Trump could ruin their efforts to retake control of Congress:
Various Republicans in Trump’s orbit have pleaded with him to hold off on formally announcing a 2024 campaign, at least until after the 2022 midterm elections have wrapped. They have also repeatedly reminded Trump that, due to campaign-finance law, actually announcing a run would immediately evaporate the current fundraising and financial advantages that he and his political operation currently enjoys while he’s — technically — a non-candidate. But the former president’s recurring desire to declare earlier than that is largely motivated by an urge to throw a Trump-sized wrench into the presidential shadow-campaigns of his fellow Republican bigwigs.
Dan Eberhart, who has given large donations to Republicans and Trump in past, says he doesn’t want the former president anywhere near the party now or in 2024:
In other words, Republicans would prefer that Trump vanish from the face of the planet, if only because they fear the baggage he carries with him could doom them yet again.