Donald Trump took aim at President Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, US foreign policy and undocumented immigrants on Saturday as he kicked off his bid for a return to the White House with campaign stops in New Hampshire and South Carolina.
Trump, who is seeking to become the first president elected to non-consecutive terms since Grover Cleveland, has cast himself as the Republican best positioned to win the nomination and beat Biden.
“The 2024 election is our only chance to save our country, and we need a leader ready to do that on day one,” Trump told an audience at the South Carolina State House. “We need a president who can handle the whole system and a president who can win.”
In a series of recent polls, Trump has led Florida Governor Ron DeSantis — the clear No. 2 pick of GOP voters at this early stage — by 19 points or more. But there are signs that Trump’s support is waning in parts of the country: A University of New Hampshire study released this week showed DeSantis leading Trump by 42 percent to 30 percent. New Hampshire traditionally holds the nation’s first primary, after the Iowa primary.
In South Carolina, Trump was surrounded by Republican officials, including Governor Henry McMaster, Senator Lindsey Graham and Representative Joe Wilson.
In Saturday’s double speeches, which largely mirrored each other, Trump painted a bleak picture of America under Biden and vowed to reverse inflation, secure the US border with Mexico and strengthen America’s position as a global power.
“Through weakness and incompetence, Joe Biden has brought us to the brink of World War III,” Trump said. “We are on the verge of World War III, in case anyone doesn’t already know. As president, I will forcefully restore peace.”
He called Biden’s failed 2021 US withdrawal from Afghanistan “the lowest day in our country’s history” and claimed that if he were president, “a peace deal would be negotiated within 24 hours” to end Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. to end.
He blamed Biden for border crossings and drug deaths, repeating his 2015 claim that Mexico is sending “murderers”, “murderers” and “rapists” to the US.
“They send people who are murderers, murderers, they send rapists. And they send, frankly, terrorists, or terrorists come of their own accord, and we can’t allow that to happen,” Trump said.
And at a time when conservative activists have sought to rewrite school curricula, Trump promised to end federal funding for schools that disagree with his views on education and that parents would directly contact public school principals. to be able to choose.
At both stops, Trump singled out Hunter Biden, the president’s son, for ridicule and appeared to blame the older Biden for his adult child’s problems.
“At what point does the father get mad – like this boy isn’t working right for me?” Trump asked rhetorically in New Hampshire.
The campaign ends Saturday after a hiatus since Trump launched his campaign in November at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. He said he will make sweeping changes to US immigration, economic and energy policies if he is returned to the White House.
“We’ll turn it around and we’ll turn it around soon,” he said.