Former President Donald Trump
to support candidates who share his values in next year's midterm elections
on Saturday, as he began a new, more active phase of his post-presidential career.
The former Republican president hinted at a presidential run in 2024, but vowed first to be an active campaigner for his congressional allies in next year's battle for control.
“America’s survival depends on our ability to elect Republicans at every level, beginning with the midterm elections next year,” Trump declared.
Trump made his latest remarks in a speech to hundreds of Republican officials and activists gathered for the North Carolina GOP
convention, the first appearance in what is expected to be a new phase of rallies and public events. Out of office for more than four months and barred from using his preferred social media
accounts, the former president hopes to use such events to elevate his diminishing brand.
Trump spent weeks after losing attacking the legitimacy of the Nov. 3 election, beginning his lies in the early hours of Nov. 4 with claims that he had won by a "landslide" and that it was being "stolen" from him.
After the Electoral College finally voted on Dec. 14, confirming Democrat Joe Biden's victory, Trump began urging his supporters to come to Washington
on Jan. 6 to intimidate his own vice president and members of Congress into overturning the election results and installing Trump as President.
The mob he incited attempted to do just that as it stormed the Capitol
, with his supporters even chanting "Hang Mike Pence
" after Pence refused to comply with Trump's demands. A police
officer died after being assaulted during the insurgency, and two others committed suicide
While he continues to make false claims about the 2020 election
, he has already begun to hint at a 2024 campaign, with his advisers eyeing subsequent appearances in Ohio
, and Georgia
to help bolster midterm candidates and energize voters
In contrast to the mega rallies that filled sports
arenas when Trump was president, he faced a crowd of several hundred North Carolina Republicans seated at dinner tables inside the Greenville convention center Saturday night, with tens of thousands more watching online.
Lara Trump, Trump's daughter-in-law and a North Carolina native, was invited to the stage briefly during his remarks and announced her decision not to run for Senate
due to family obligations.
“I am saying no for the time being, but not forever,” Lara Trump explained.
Minutes later, Trump announced his support for loyalist Rep. Ted Budd in the crowded Republican primary, a jab at former Gov. Pat McCrory, who has been critical of Trump's false statements about the 2020 election.
“You can't pick people
who have already lost two races and do not represent our values,” Trump said.
Trump spent the majority of his remarks railing against President Joe Biden
and his administration, which he referred to as the "most radical left-wing administration in history."
“As we gather this evening, our country is being destroyed right in front of our eyes,” he said.
In a statement issued ahead of Trump's speech, Democratic National Committee
spokesman Ammar Moussa took aim at Trump.
“More than 400,000 Americans have died, millions of jobs
have been lost, and recklessly dangerous rhetoric is apparently not enough for Republicans to break with a loser
president who has cost them the White House
, Senate, and House,” Moussa said.
While Trump has had to work
harder to make his voice heard since leaving office, he remains a commanding force in the Republican Party
. According to a recent Quinnipiac University national poll, 66% of Republicans want to see him run for reelection, while the same number of Americans overall would prefer he didn't.