Former President Trump announced a third campaign for the White House Tuesday night in a LIVE speech from his club in Palm Beach, Florida.
"In order to make America great and glorious again, I am tonight announcing my candidacy for President of the United States,” Trump said to an audience of several hundred supporters. "This will not be my campaign. This will be our campaign, all together."
Trump spent part of his speech attacking the current administration and said America was in "decline." He mostly stayed away from the 2020 election after claiming it was rigged and stolen from him over the past two years.
"I am your voice. The Washington establishment wants to silence us but we will not let them do that," Trump said.
His announcement comes amid growing divisions among Republicans about supporting him in the future, especially after some high-profile candidates he backed lost races in the midterm elections.
"It doesn't carry quite as much weight considering the highest profile endorsed candidates didn't do as well in these elections, but he's still the most popular person among base Republican voters and until someone takes that away from him, he's the frontrunner," Inside Elections Editor Nathan Gonzales told CBN News.
Not everyone in the GOP agrees the lack of a midterm "red wave" was Trump's fault. Ohio Senator-elect J.D. Vance, a Trump-backed candidate, penned an op-ed for The American Conservative titled, "Don't Blame Trump."
Vance points to major advantages for Democrats in 2022, mainly due to their superior fundraising and their mail-in ballot efforts. "In every marquee national race, Republicans got crushed financially," he writes. The figures appear to support that statement:
Republican senate candidates in every swing state were heavily outspent (not including PAC money).
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) November 14, 2022
"This problem is exacerbated by Democrats' strong advantages in states that have expanded vote by mail," Vance says. "In the short term, as illustrated last week, those advantages serve as a reminder of the need for voting reform in this country, modeled on success in states like Ohio at running clean, fair elections: establishing fair but appropriately narrow windows to return ballots; implementing signature verification; conducting all pre-election work necessary to facilitate rapid tabulation of early votes when polls close; and implementing national photo ID requirements to ensure elections are secure."
Pence Grabs for the Spotlight Too
Meanwhile, former Vice President Mike Pence is speaking out about his new book, So Help Me God. The fact that Trump's big announcement coincides with the book release is not considered to be an accident.
"World News Tonight" anchor David Muir asked Pence in an exclusive ABC News interview if Trump should ever be president again in light of everything he saw during the Capitol Hill riot.
"I think that's up to the American people. But I think we'll have better choices in the future. You know, the people of this country actually get along pretty well once you get out of politics. And I think they want to see their national leaders start to reflect that same, that same compassion and generosity of spirit," Pence said.
RealClearPolitics got an advance copy of Pence's book and reported one very telling exchange between the two men, days before they were preparing to leave the White House.
Pence says he told Trump he'd be praying for him. "Don't bother," Trump reportedly replied. Pence writes: "I paused, looked the president in the eye, and said, 'I guess we will just have to disagree on two things.'" Pence says Trump asked what that meant, and he replied that the first difference was about the election results. The second: "I'm also never gonna stop praying for you."
Pence said he's prayerfully considering running for president.
Meanwhile, some Republicans are already backing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis who won reelection by a huge margin last Tuesday. As a result, Trump has been attacking DeSantis, calling him "DeSanctimonious," seeing him as a possible challenger for 2024.