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Trump hints at 2024 race, repeats election lies at Tory conference

Trump hints at 2024 race, repeats election lies at Tory conference

Former US President Donald Trump hinted at a possible 2024 presidential bid on Sunday, attacked President Joe Biden, and repeated his fraudulent claims that he won the 2020 election in his first major appearance since taking office. left the White House almost six weeks ago.

“Our movement of proud, hard-working American patriots is just beginning, and in the end we will win. We will win,” Trump said in a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida.

Refusing to admit that he lost the November 3 presidential election to Biden, Trump offered a disappointing critique of his Democratic successor’s first weeks in office and suggested he could run again. “They just lost the White House,” the former Republican president said after criticizing Biden’s handling of border security. “But who knows, who knows, I might even decide to beat them a third time.”

Trump’s tumultuous past weeks saw his supporters launch a deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6 in an attempt to prevent Congress from certifying Biden’s election victory, a victory Trump falsely claimed was tainted by fraud generalized.

A civil war has erupted within the Republican Party, with establishment figures such as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell keen to put Trump in the rearview mirror, and others like Trump’s ally , Senator Lindsey Graham, believing that the future of the party depends on the energy of the pro-Trump conservative base.

Trump supporters are seen outside CPAC on Sunday. (John Raoux / The Associated Press)

Trump has said the Republican Party is united and said he has no plans to try to launch a third party – an idea he has been discussing with advisers over the past two months.

“We are not starting new parties. We have the Republican Party. It is going to be united and stronger than ever. I am not starting a new party,” he said.

The results of a straw poll of CPAC conference attendees gave Trump a strong show of support, with 55% of them saying they would vote for him in the Republican nomination contest. the 2024 presidential election. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was second at 21 percent.

Without Trump, DeSantis led with 43%, while other potential Republican candidates had single digits.

But not everyone supported Trump. A separate poll question asked if Trump should run again in 2024, and that led to a mixed result – 68% saying he should run and 32% saying they were opposed or had no opinion.

A golden statue of Trump is seen in front of CPAC on Sunday. (Sam Thomas / Orlando Sentinel via The Associated Press)

“It’s hard to get seven out of 10 to agree on anything,” pollster Jim McLaughlin told CPAC as he explained the results.

Yet Trump’s fervor at the four-day CPAC event was so strong that Trump’s eldest son Donald Trump Jr. declared him “T-PAC,” and attendees unfurled a golden statue. of the former president.

In the short term, he plans to set up a super PAC political organization to support candidates who reflect his policies, an adviser said.

Starting his speech more than an hour late, Trump said he wanted to save America’s culture and identity.

He has sought to position himself as the main critic of the new president, particularly on immigration and security along the US border with Mexico and the slow reopening of schools closed due to the pandemic.

“Joe Biden has had the most disastrous first month of any president in modern history,” Trump said.

Recent polls have given Biden a well above 50% job approval rating, a good performance from Americans.

The White House Biden has made it clear that it plans to ignore Trump’s speech.

“We are certainly not focusing on what President Trump says” to CPAC, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters last week.

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