Donald Trump eyes shifting his idling White House campaign back into gear
The appearances in New Hampshire and South Carolina are an opportunity to address complaints from fellow Republicans that his intended contest with President Joe Biden has made a slow start
Washington: Former US President Donald Trump will seek to kick-start his campaign for the 2024 Republican nomination back into gear over the weekend, with a pair of campaign stops in crucial early-voting states more than two months after he announced his intention to run for President once again.
The appearances in New Hampshire and South Carolina are an opportunity to address complaints from fellow Republicans that his intended contest with President Joe Biden has made a slow start.
Key South Carolina allies US Senator Lindsey Graham and Governor Henry McMaster are expected to join Trump in an event at the, but some other well-known Republicans are staying away. They include two people with possible White House ambitions of their own, former Governor Nikki Haley and another US Senator Tim Scott.
This in itself is a sign that some key Republican donors and activists are looking for other options to challenge an expected Biden re-election campaign, including Haley as well as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, according to US media reports this week.
About a year out from the start of party nominating contests, Trump carries a few powerful advantages into his campaign. Polls regularly show him as the leading choice among Republican voters and his four turbulent years in the White House give him a tremendous advantage in recognition.
The former President has also been a prodigious fundraiser since leaving office, though his primary fundraising vehicle ‘Save America’ is registered to fund Trump’s political allies but not his own campaigns.
Questions of Finance
Watchdog groups have already accused Trump of illegally using his ‘Save America’ campaign to help his presidential bid.
The non-partisan Campaign Legal Center in November asked the Federal Election Commission to probe Save America’s transfer of money to the ‘Make America Great Again Inc’, more popularly known as MAGA Inc, which is registered as an independent super PAC but is staffed by former Trump aides and is expected to spend money supporting Trump’s campaign.
Trump’s official campaign, which he launched on November 15, has not yet filed federal disclosures on its finances and has until January 31 to give regulators details through the end of 2022.
Trump’s own campaign dismissed the idea that his support within the party was weakening.
A spokesperson for Scott said he will not attend Saturday’s event due to a pre-existing commitment. Haley recently told Fox News that she is considering a White House run of her own.
Among other prominent elected South Carolina Republicans, a spokesperson for U.S. Representative Ralph Norman said he would not attend due to a pre-existing conflict, while representatives of three other House Republicans from South Carolina did not respond.
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