By Caitlyn Meisner | Staff Writer
Former President Donald Trump announced Tuesday that he is seeking a second term as president — his third campaign for the Oval Office.
Trump made the announcement in a room packed with hundreds of people in his Mar-a-Lago home. “God Bless the U.S.A.” by Lee Greenwood blasted over the speakers as he walked with his wife Melania to the stage and podium where over a dozen American flags stood.
The spectators held their cellphones to record the announcement, cheering as Trump approached the podium to deliver the words they had been waiting for.
“Ladies and gentleman, distinguished guests and my fellow citizens, America’s comeback starts right now,” Trump said. “When I left office, the United States stood ready for its Golden Age. Our nation was at the pinnacle of power, prosperity and prestige.”
The announcement comes after the underperformance by Republicans in the midterm elections last week. The party did not gain a majority in the Senate and is one seat away from a majority in the House of Representatives.
“Despite the outcome in the Senate, we cannot lose hope,” Trump said. “We elected a group of talented American leaders that will be stars for our party for many years to come.”
Trump said breaking radical Democrats’ grip on Congress is crucial.
“Our great congressmen and congresswomen, we have taken over Congress [and] Nancy Pelosi has been fired,” Trump said. “We had always known that this was not the end. It was only the beginning of our fight to rescue the American dream.”
Trump said this run is not only to make America great again but also to make it glorious.
“I am announcing my candidacy for president of the United States,” Trump said, eliciting massive cheers from the crowd. “Together, we will be taking on the most corrupt forces and entrenched interests imaginable.”
Trump said he recognizes the task at hand requires someone from a different crop.
“This is a task for a great movement that embodies the courage, confidence and spirit of the American people,” Trump said.
San Jose, Calif., junior Derek Williams said he is not surprised Trump is running for president again.
“He liked it too much,” Williams said. “I just think he enjoys it too much. It’s going to be him versus [Ron] DeSantis — DeSantis having great success, versus Trump who’s just popular. It’ll be interesting to see their battle.”
Tiskilwa, Ill., sophomore and Texas Rising co-president Olivia Eiken said Trump’s announcement makes the Republican Party look worse.
“He’s already back to making a fool of himself,” Eiken said. “All it’s going to do is split up the Republican Party. Half of them are going to vote for Trump, and the other half for Ron DeSantis.”
Rep. Pete Sessions (TX-17) said he was not surprised by the announcement either.
“I think that the speculation that we had known is [now] reality,” Sessions said. “This is where his energy lies: running for president.”
Sessions said there are conversations about the Trump-DeSantis rivalry.
“[DeSantis] has a different style than Donald Trump, and that style is more conciliatory,” Sessions said. “The question is how much of a fight DeSantis is willing to fight, which will be expensive.”