What Trump will campaign on in 2024

What Trump will campaign on in 2024

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Former President Trump is not yet the Republican nominee for president in 2024, but he has in many respects already turned his attention to next year’s general election and a rematch with President Biden.

Trump is a dominant front-runner in GOP primary polls at the national and state levels, and many of his rally speeches tend to focus more on his second-term plans and Biden than his primary opponents.

Here are five areas Trump is expected to focus on in 2024 as he seeks the Republican nomination and a general election victory.

Immigration

For Trump, immigration was a cornerstone of his 2016 and 2020 campaigns, and it will likely be central to his 2024 reelection bid — a subject that speaks to the very center of his base.

At each of his rallies, Trump hammers Biden on the issue and paints a dystopian picture of migrants flooding the country and changing its makeup.

“All over the world, they’re coming into our country. From Africa, from Asia, all over the world,” Trump said at a recent New Hampshire rally, where he controversially claimed immigrants were “poisoning the blood of our country,” a remark that drew comparisons to Nazi Germany.

Trump has pledged to finish the border wall that he proposed during his first term, deploy military assets to disrupt cartels, expand the travel ban he implemented during his first term, impose ideological screenings and push for convicted drug dealers to get the death penalty. Record-setting numbers of border crossings over the past year have given Trump and his team additional fodder to highlight the issue.

Immigration is also a potential weakness for Biden. A Monmouth University poll released Dec. 18 found 26 percent of Americans approve of Biden’s handling of immigration, while 69 percent disapprove, something the Trump campaign likely will seize on.

“We need President Donald Trump back in the White House to secure the border and destroy the drug cartels killing Americans,” said Karoline Leavitt, a spokesperson for the Trump-aligned super PAC MAGA Inc., in a statement.

Inflation

While Biden will make the case the economy is better off than Trump left it, the former president is likely to zero in on inflation specifically to argue Americans are struggling financially and need a change in leadership.

Inflation has come down significantly from its peak in 2022. Data released Dec. 12 showed the annual inflation rate had fallen from 9.1 percent in June 2022 to 3.1 percent as of November.

But many Americans still believe the economy is not on the right track, as evidenced by numerous polls showing Biden’s approval rating on the economy in particular is underwater.

A Fox News poll conducted Dec. 10-13 found 62 percent of voters disapprove of Biden’s handling of the economy, while 70 percent disapprove of his handling of inflation in particular. Trump has zeroed in on the rise in prices in rally speeches in Iowa, New Hampshire and elsewhere.

“While the stock market is making rich people richer … Biden’s inflation catastrophe is demolishing your savings, ravaging your dreams,” Trump said during a recent rally in Nevada.

A second-term Trump economic agenda would likely center on making permanent the tax cuts his administration enacted in 2017, rolling back regulations and returning to the tariff-heavy approach he utilized in his first term.

Trump has suggested imposing a 10 percent tariff on foreign imports into the United States, arguing it would bring in significant money even as some have warned it would lead to increased prices.

Energy

If there is a specific issue within the economy Trump likes to focus on, it can be summed up by his response during a CNN town hall in March when asked how he would lower costs.

“Drill, baby, drill,” Trump said at the time, a phrase he repeats at nearly every campaign event.

Trump has indicated he would look to increase drilling in the United States to make the country “energy dominant.” 

His campaign has pointed to his approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, a project Biden stopped upon taking office, as well as Trump’s support for rolling back environmental regulations.

Trump routinely rails against the “Green New Deal,” which is not something Democrats have actually passed into law but instead serves as a stand-in for Trump’s disdain for climate-focused policy. The former president also frequently bashes the transition toward electric vehicles, something the Biden administration has worked to incentivize.

Biden faced political backlash in 2022 as gas prices soared to an average of more than $5 per gallon, but prices have since fallen and the average price as of Dec. 19 was $3.08 per gallon, according to AAA

Additionally, the U.S. has produced record amounts of oil despite Biden’s efforts to protect more lands and limit drilling in some areas. The Energy Department reported in October that American oil production hit a record of 13.2 million barrels per day, surpassing the previous record set in 2020.

America First foreign policy

With war raging in Ukraine and Israel and Hamas fighting in the Middle East, Trump will pitch voters on a return to his “America First” approach to foreign policy, which saw him clash with traditional allies like Canada, Germany and others during his first term.

Trump has expressed skepticism about continued U.S. support for Ukraine in its war against Russia, which is a full 180-degree reversal from the Biden White House’s vow to back Ukraine for as long as it takes to win the war.

Trump has repeatedly claimed he would bring an end to the Russia-Ukraine war within hours, but he has given no specifics about how he would do so.

On Israel, Trump has suggested the fighting between Israeli forces and Hamas may simply have to play out.

Former Trump aides have warned he would try to pull the United States out of the NATO alliance if he’s reelected, a move that would shake the global order and could spur more aggression from Russia.

And Trump has repeatedly shown an affection for authoritarian leaders like Vladimir Putin of Russia, Kim Jong Un of North Korea and Viktor Orbán of Hungary, prompting further questions about who he would align himself with in a second term.

Revenge

Trump’s indictments and his belief that he is being politically targeted have already been ingrained in his rally speeches to supporters dating to March, when he declared “for those who have been wronged and betrayed … I am your retribution.”

The former president has suggested that part of his campaign is about seeking revenge on his political opponents, whether it is Biden, those who he falsely claims rigged the election in 2020, or prosecutors who brought charges against him in New York, Georgia, Washington, D.C., and Florida.

Trump has also lashed out after a Colorado court ruled he should be removed from the state’s ballot over his actions in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol under a clause in the 14th Amendment barring insurrectionists.

Trump has suggested it would be fair game to investigate Biden and his family if he is elected. He has vowed to root out “radical-left thugs that live like vermin within the confines of our country.” And allies have indicated Trump would look to stock the government with loyalists wherever possible.

Some Trump allies believe it could be an effective strategy, as evidenced by the way Republicans rallied around Trump after each of his four indictments.

“Conventional wisdom after Trump was indicted was it would help him in the primary but it would hurt him in the general,” a Trump-aligned operative said. “And if you look at the data, it’s clear now that was incorrect. It hasn’t just helped him in the primary, his numbers have gone up to record highs against Biden since he’s been indicted.”

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