PALM BEACH, Florida — Former President Donald Trump announced his third campaign for the White House here Tuesday night at his luxurious seaside resort Mar-a-Lago in front of thousands of fans and hundreds of media outlets.
In the 69-minute address, Trump unveiled what he called a “National Greatness Agenda.”
“This is what we call a National Greatness Agenda, because our country can be greater than it’s ever been,” Trump said. “Our country is not great anymore. It’s a mess. But our country can be greater than it ever was before. There will be more, much more in the months ahead—and there are so many things we need to do. The road ahead of us will not be easy.”
The agenda includes a push to build for the United States a “shield” against intercontinental ballistic missiles, an amendment to the U.S. Constitution imposing term limits on members of Congress as well as a ban on members of Congress trading stocks, and the rehiring of every American military serviceman and servicewoman terminated due to current Democrat President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate.
“I will keep America out of foolish and unnecessary foreign wars, just as I did for four years before,” Trump said. “We will again have peace through strength. To protect our people from the unthinkable threat of nuclear weapons and hypersonic missiles, the United States must also build a state-of-the-art, next-generation missile defense shield. We need it. A word that I refuse to say: ‘Nuclear.’ We have to have it. We need a defense shield. We have the technology.”
Trump said, too, that he will push to rein in corruption in Congress.
“I will push for a Constitutional amendment to impose term limits on members of Congress, a lifetime ban on lobbying by former members of Congress,” Trump said. … “We want a ban on members of Congress getting rich by trading stocks.”
Regarding rehiring the military members Biden fired, Trump said he also wanted to give them back pay for the wages lost thanks to the Democrats.
“We will rehire every patriot Biden fired,” Trump said, sparking an eruption in applause. “They deserve their jobs back and they deserve back pay.”
Other elements of the agenda include an effort Trump detailed to drain the swamp in Washington and target the “deep state” and also the traditional “America First” Trump views on immigration, trade, and economic policy, as well as the core election integrity views that Trump has pushed for the past two years since 2020’s election. He also called for parental rights in education policy and to protect girls from biological men competing in women’s sports.
“We need an overhaul to clean out the festering rot of corruption,” Trump said. … “We will dismantle the deep state.”
On election reforms, Trump cited his go-to three major policy items: paper ballots, same-day voting, and voter ID.
“And of course we will do whatever it takes to bring back honesty and trust in our elections,” Trump said. “We need voter ID, same-day voting, and we need paper ballots. … And we want all votes counted on election night.”
Trump began the speech by thanking those gathered, calling them the “heart and soul of this incredible movement.”
“This great movement of ours—there has never been anything like it, and perhaps there will never be anything like it again,” Trump said. … “My fellow citizens, America’s comeback starts right now.”
Trump noted that when he left office just under two years ago, the United States “stood ready for its golden age.”
“America was at its pinnacle of power,” Trump said, laying out how virtually every demographic was “thriving like never before” during his presidency before the coronavirus pandemic hit. Trump detailed how he “took decisive action to save lives and the U.S. economy” during the pandemic.
He laid out several other successes from his administration, too, including economic, energy, immigration, and crime achievements. “For the first time ever, China was reeling—back on its heels,” Trump added. … “Instead of jobs and factories leaving America for China, they went the first time ever leaving China for America.”
“China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea were in check,” Trump said. “They respected the United States and quite honestly respected me.” Trump also noted how he crushed the Islamic State, commonly known as ISIS, and that Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi “was hunted down and killed” and also noted that he successfully de-escalated Kim Jong Un’s ballistic missile ambitions through the summit he held with the North Korean leader.
“My opponents made me out to be a warmonger and just a terrible person and that we’d be immediately going to war,” Trump said. “They said during the 2016 campaign and after that we’d be at war within weeks. They said we’d be in wars like never seen before and it would happen immediately. And yet, for decades—decades—we went without a war and I’m the first president to do it.”
Trump said that in a second term if he was reelected the country was on track for an “amazing future” because “I made big promises, and unlike other presidents I kept my promises.”
Trump said that under his administration the United States was a “great and glorious nation” and “a strong nation and more importantly a free nation.”
“But now we are a nation in decline,” Trump said. “We are a failing nation.”
Trump said the past two years under Biden have been a “time of pain, hardship, anxiety, and despair” as he pointed to record high inflation and gas prices, what he called Biden’s “surrender” of America’s “energy independence,” what he said were millions of people “invading” the United States across the southern border, as well as the flow of “hundreds of thousands of pounds of deadly drugs” into the country.
“The disaster in Afghanistan was perhaps the most embarrassing moment in the history of our country, where we lost lives, left Americans behind and left behind $85 billion worth of the greatest military equipment anywhere in the world,” Trump continued. “And then Ukraine, which would have never happened if I were your president. … Our enemies are speaking to us with scorn, laughter, and derision because of those two events, but there are many more.”
Trump cited the missile fired miles into Poland earlier on Tuesday, too, as a sign of dangerous times ahead, while instead of doing something about it, with Biden “we have a president who falls asleep at global conferences.”
“He is leading us to the brink of nuclear war, a concept unimaginable just two short years ago,” Trump said of Biden, noting that the left is so focused on the “Green New Deal” to confront an environmental threat that may hurt humanity hundreds of years from now, but is not focused on the threat of nuclear war which could decimate humanity today.
“We are here tonight to declare it does not have to be this way,” Trump said. “Two years ago we were a great nation and soon we will be a great nation again. The decline being forced upon us by Biden and the radical left lunatics driving us right here into the ground. This decline is not a fate we must accept. When given the choice boldly and clearly, I believe the American people will overwhelmingly reject the left’s path to national ruin and they will embrace our vision for national greatness and glory.”
Trump told the fired-up crowd that hours earlier the Republicans had finally, a week after the election, won back control of the U.S. House of Representatives, noting that it was Congressman-elect Kevin Kiley of California—whom he endorsed—who put the GOP over the top to secure the majority in the House.
Trump said that those disappointed in the GOP’s underwhelming performance in the midterm election were “right” but argued that the American public has not fully felt the pain of the left’s policies yet. Still, he touted his midterm endorsement record, which saw “232 wins and only 22 losses.”
“This is an elegant night and an elegant place,” Trump said next, holding back his criticism of the media gathered and his potential 2024 GOP rivals. He cited his primary endorsement success rate, at 98.6 percent he said, which he attributed to several of his successes including how “the Trump administration changed our nation on trade, on securing the border—it was the longest, safest border ever in our nation—on Islamic terrorism, we had none that I can think of just about no Islamic terrorist attacks during the Trump administration…”
“Despite the outcome of the Senate, we cannot lose hope—and we must all work hard for a gentleman and a great person by the name of Herschel Walker,” Trump continued. “He was an incredible athlete and he’ll be an even better senator. We elected a group of very talented America First leaders who will be stars in our party for many years to come. In the popular vote, another thing that’s not discussed, for the House, Republicans won 5 million more votes—the largest margin in many, many years—over the Democrats. Five million more votes.”
Trump noted that thanks to the new Republicans on the way to Washington, “we’ve taken over the Congress and Nancy Pelosi is fired.”
Trump then announced he is running for president again in 2024.
“Together we will be taking on the most corrupt forces and entrenched interests imaginable,” Trump said. “Our country is in a horrible state. We’re in great trouble. This is not a task for a politician or a conventional candidate. This is a task for a great movement.”
Trump continued leaning in on the movement discussion throughout the address. “This is our country, our government, and our corridors of power and we are coming to take our country back,” Trump said. … “I will fight like no one has ever fought before.”
“To every American worker and family struggling to survive in this economy with the inflation destroying your life, this campaign will be for you,” he said. “Help is on the way. Joe Biden has abolished America’s borders—we are going to restore and secure America’s borders.”
Trump also discussed how he believes what he called a “pause” in his time in the White House—the Biden administration between his first term and what he hopes will be his second term—might be in his view a good thing, because people can now see how a “bad job has been done these past two years and it will be worse, believe me.”
“Everybody sees it,” Trump said. “It will be much easier for us to do what has to be done.”