Trump announces 2024 presidential campaign: 'We have to get out of this ditch'
"I am tonight announcing my candidacy for president of the United States."
Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday evening announced that he would again seek the presidency in 2024, vowing to reverse the policies of his successor, Democrat Joe Biden.
"We have to get out of this ditch," he declared.
"I am tonight announcing my candidacy for president of the United States," Trump also said as he spent much of his 70-minute speech lamenting the state of the nation.
"This isn't a campaign," he contended. "It's a quest to save our country.”
"The Washington establishment wants to silence us, but we will not let them do that," he told a cheering crowd at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. "What we have built together over the past six years is the greatest movement in history because it is not about politics. It's about our love for this great country, America, and we're not going to let it fail.
"We have to get out of this ditch. And once we're out, you'll see things that nobody imagined for any country. It's called the United States of America. And it's an incredible place.”
Trump vowed to impose the death penalty for drug traffickers and called for the elimination of early voting and a return to paper ballots.
"We want all ballots counted by election night," he declared.
Throughout the speech, Trump touted his own successes during his time in office, including negotiating the Abraham Accords between Israel and Arab nations, effectively eliminating the Islamic State terror group and achieving American energy independence.
"I am running because I believe the world has not yet seen the peak of what this nation can be," he said. "We have not reached that pinnacle."
During the speech, Trump also encouraged supporters to vote for Georgia Republican senatorial nominee Herschel Walker in the runoff election.
Trump referred to the Biden administration as "the pause," asserting that the 46th president had done him a service by presenting such a stark contrast between the prosperity Americans enjoyed under his tenure and the present economic and geopolitical situation under Biden. He asserted, moreover, that the new administration's failures would bolster support for his own agenda in a prospective second term.
His announcement follows a disappointing midterm result for the Republican Party and for many of the former president's hand-picked candidates nationwide. As of press time, Republicans stand one seat away from reclaiming the House, based on Associated Press projections, though the party failed to win pivotal Senate races.
In his announcement, Trump claimed the GOP had retaken control of the House, citing a victory projection for California Republican House nominee Kevin Kiley. The Associated Press has not yet declared a winner in that race.
Should Trump return to office, he would be the second president to serve non-consecutive terms after Grover Cleveland served from 1885-1889 and again from 1893-1897.
Cleveland's official tenure was interrupted by the single term of Benjamin Harrison.