Former President Donald Trump said Saturday he’s “more committed” to winning back the White House than ever before as he hit the campaign trail for the first time since announcing a third presidential bid in November.
Appearing in New Hampshire before a second stop in South Carolina, Trump said he was “more angry” about the direction of the country and vowed to return to the first-in-the-nation primary state “many, many more times” as he looks to replicate his first-place finish in the Granite State in 2016.
“This is it,” Trump told members of the New Hampshire GOP at their annual meeting in Salem. “We’re starting right here as a candidate for president.”
In South Carolina, meanwhile, Trump pledged that his 2024 campaign would “be about the future” in a speech that largely avoided repeating the lies about the 2020 election that he has been promoting for the past two years.
“This campaign will be about the future. This campaign will be about issues. Joe Biden has put America on the fast track to ruin and destruction and we will ensure that he does not receive four more years,” the former president said at a small event in the Statehouse in Columbia.
On the way to South Carolina, Trump took aim at potential 2024 contender Ron DeSantis, telling reporters aboard his plane that the Florida governor and his team were “trying to rewrite history” regarding their Covid-19 pandemic response. He also called a potential presidential run by his GOP rival “very disloyal.”
Trump also said that Nikki Haley – the state’s former governor who served as his ambassador to the United Nations – called him in recent days to inform him that she is considering launching a 2024 presidential bid.
“I talked to her for a little while, I said, ‘Look, you know, go by your heart if you want to run,’” Trump said. “She’s publicly said that ‘I would never run against my president, he was a great president.’”
Trump said he told Haley that she “should do it.”