Former President Donald Trump said he had made his decision about whether to run in 2024.
In an interview with the New York Magazine published on July 14, the 45th president disclosed that he had already made up his mind on that issue, but the “big decision” now is the timing of the announcement.
“Well, in my own mind, I’ve already made that decision, so nothing factors in anymore,” he told the outlet.
“I would say my big decision will be whether I go before or after,” Trump said, indicating that he is undecided on whether to announce before or after the 2022 midterm elections.
He said there were “certain assets” in announcing the decision before the midterms.
“Let people know. I think a lot of people would not even run [for 2024] if I did that because, if you look at the polls, they don’t even register. Most of these people. And I think that you would actually have a backlash against them if they ran. People want me to run,” Trump said.
“I feel very confident that, if I decide to run, I’ll win,” he added.
Trump’s comments come as the latest in a series of hints to the public about a 2024 run, despite not having officially announced his decision.
“I ran twice, I won twice … And now with the approval of the great people of Alaska, we may have to do it again,” Trump said at a July 9 rally in Alaska, noting that he received “many millions more votes” in 2020 than he did in 2016 when he defeated Hillary Clinton.
“The information that I’ve gotten the last several weeks is Trump is definitely running,” longtime Republican campaign strategist Brooke Rollins told The Epoch Times on June 14. Rollins, several weeks earlier, created the “Ready for Ron” PAC to support a possible DeSantis presidential candidacy.
“We’re not working at all against Trump,” Rollins told The Epoch Times, adding, “At that point in time, I didn’t know if he [Trump] was running or not. What I’ve said since has made it clear is that [DeSantis] won’t run against Trump.”
When asked about a Trump–DeSantis ticket, Trump said he has a good relationship with the Republican governor.
“Well, I get along with him,” Trump said in an interview on Newsmax on June 30. “I was very responsible for his success, because I endorsed him and he went up like a rocket ship.”
Trump was referring to his 2018 endorsement of DeSantis. And after Trump’s endorsement, DeSantis’s support rapidly increased before he defeated Democrat Andrew Gillum.
Since then, DeSantis has become one of the most popular Republican officials in the country, particularly for his handling of COVID-19 vaccines and pandemic-related rules in Florida. The Florida governor has often downplayed suggestions that he run for president in 2024, saying he’s more focused on running the state.
Despite concerns among GOP observers about what would happen if Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis also entered the race for 2024, a July poll conducted by The New York Times and Siena College shows Trump to be nearly doubling DeSantis in terms of support among Republican respondents.
Results from a Morning Consult/Politico survey conducted in late June also reflected a similar sentiment among GOP voters, where 53 percent of the respondents said they would vote for Trump if the 2024 Republican primaries were to be held “today” and 22 percent said of DeSantis.
Meanwhile, Republican figures have noted that Trump’s influence in the GOP is far from waning.
“I don’t delude myself into thinking I have a big swath of the Republican Party,” Trump critic Mitt Romney (R-Utah) told Politico in May about his thoughts on the former president, adding, “It’s hard to imagine anything that would derail his support.”
“So if he wants to become the nominee in , I think he’s very likely to achieve that,” Romney said.
‘Back on the Right Track’
Trump’s comments about his decision on the presidential track were made public on the same day that the America First Policy Institute (AFPI) announced the former president’s participation in a high-profile event that will feature many elements of his 2016 platform.
The 45th president will deliver the keynote address on the second day of the American First Agenda Summit, a two-day event hosted by AFPI that is scheduled to start on July 25, according to a schedule published on the AFPI’s website (pdf).
Trump’s attendance at the event will be the first time the 45th president makes a public appearance in Washington since he left office in January 2021.
“The America First Policy Institute is excited to welcome President Donald Trump back to Washington, D.C. Our team will introduce a policy agenda that will get our country back on the right track. These policies worked before, and they will work again. America’s future is America First!” Brooke Rollins, president and CEO of AFPI and former director of the White House Domestic Policy Council under Trump, said in a press release on July 14.
The event will feature themes aligned with Trump’s America First agenda, including election integrity, border security, lowering gas prices, delivering peace “through strength,” fighting government corruption, and parental control in education.
The event will be closed to the general public but will be live-streamed and open to the press.
It will feature high-profile conservative figures and current and former Republican office holders, including eight former cabinet-level officials, nine Trump White House officials, 10 senators, 13 House representatives, and three former governors.
These include former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Rep. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), and former acting United States Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf.
“It wasn’t that long ago that America was flourishing. Paychecks were growing. Poverty was shrinking. The price of gas was down. The stock market was up. And there were no new wars,” said Rollins.
“What a difference 16 months makes.”