Donald Trump hints at 2024 run in first post-presidency appearance
Orlando, Florida - In his first public appearance since leaving office, former US President Donald Trump did not rule out the possibility that he might run again in 2024.
Speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) conference in Orlando, Florida on Sunday, the Republican did not expressly declare that he would be running again in the next US presidential election.
But hinting at a possible fresh run in 2024, the one-term former president said, "I may even decide to beat them for a third time."
Trump was implying that he actually won the November election against Joe Biden. The 74-year-old, who moved to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida after leaving the White House on January 20, yet again rehashed his false claims about a "stolen election" and steadfastly refused to admit he was legitimately beaten.
He still claims to have been robbed of victory by massive electoral fraud, despite court after court deciding that there is a total lack of evidence for his wild allegations.
Biden received a record 81 million votes in the election and ultimately one by a clear margin. More than 74 million Americans voted for Trump.
Trump pledges support to the Republican Party
Trump also rejected calls for the founding of a new political party.
"We have the Republican Party," he asserted, adding that the party would be unified and stronger than ever before.
He dismissed reports about the possible founding of a Trump party as "fake news."
Trump sharply criticized Biden's policies, railing about "the most disastrous first month of a president in modern history" and accusing the 78-year-old of wanting to turn the US into a "socialist country," a familiar Republican rallying cry.
Trump remains very popular with the Republican party and his base. In an informal poll of CPAC participants, 95% were in favor of continuing Trump's policies. However, only 55% would like Trump to be the Republican nominee in 2024, indicating an ambivalence that is also reflected the party's competing visions for the future.
Loyal Trump supporters had gathered at the conference in the past few days. They shouted "USA, USA," "We love you," and "You won" during Trump's speech. The former president's Republican critics, including Utah Senator Mitt Romney and Representative Liz Cheney, stayed well away from the conference this year.
The annual event normally takes place in Washington but was moved to Orlando this year due to looser Covid-19 restrictions in Florida.
Cover photo: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire