Trump makes first campaign stops, Biden jabs on road to ‘24

by mcardinal

Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News

Saturday, former President Donald Trump returned to the stump-speech circuit, paying visits to both New Hampshire and South Carolina for the first official stops in his bid to return to the White House. 

“I’m more angry now, and I’m more committed now, than I ever was,” Trump said in Salem, New Hampshire.

Trump wasted little time in applying the campaign technique that has so often carried him: lashing out at the policies of Democrats, progressives, and President Joe Biden. 

“Every day [under Biden] is like April Fool’s Day,” Trump told the crowd gathered in Columbia, South Carolina. 

Not even his most ardent opponent could accuse Trump of leaving any topic of criticism unsaid. He ripped Biden for his efforts on Ukraine, the border, election law, drugs, law enforcement, military, education, energy, the economy, and the protection of children.

It will likely surprise no one that Trump also found time in his speeches to blast both Biden and his son Hunter. 

Trump accused Biden of having ruined the “greatest economy in the history of America,” but vowed he could rebuild that economy “again, and it won’t even be difficult.” 

Many of the former president’s remarks were old hat, although still popular with the intended audience, but Trump also broached some new topics.  

In South Carolina, he treaded carefully while addressing rumors that former Gov. Nikki Haley, who served as Trump’s ambassador to the UN, was mulling her own run for the presidency. 

“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 added, though, that he told Haley she “should do it.” 

The kind words were substantially fewer for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who according to polls is the biggest threat to Trump carrying the Republican nomination a third time. 

“[When] I hear he might run, you know, I consider that very disloyal,” Newsmax quoted Trump as saying between stops. “But it’s not about loyalty, but to me it is. It’s always about loyalty.”

Trump has long attested that he is the reason DeSantis became governor in 2018. 

Joining Trump on stage in South Carolina were members of his South Carolina leadership team – a body that notably does not include Haley or South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, yet another potential Trump rival. 

However, Trump did the enthusiastic, some deemed it animated, support of Sen. Lindsey Graham. 

“He did it once, and he can do it again,” Graham said. “There are no Trump policies without President Donald Trump. You can talk about his policies, but you could not do what he did.”

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster also joined Trump onstage. 


In both New Hampshire and South Carolina, Trump waded into a brewing controversy over when different states’ primaries are held. 

The Democratic Party recently ruled that South Carolina would be the first state to hold a primary for the left-leaning party, the justification being that South Carolina has a stronger minority voice than do the Iowa caucuses or New Hampshire primary.  

Trump said he supported leaving New Hampshire as the first true primary of the nation, with South Carolina serving as the first in the South. 

“From the very beginning, I’ve strongly defended New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary status,” Trump said in Salem. “I’ve been your defender, and I’ve refused to let any Republican … even think about taking that cherished status away.”

Biden has endorsed Democrats’ new plan, which would have South Carolina followed by New Hampshire and Nevada on a shared day, and Georgia and Michigan after that. 

It was a calculated risk by Biden, who has angered New Hampshire democrats, including both of the state’s senators, by elevating South Carolina. 

Trump seized on the moment to label Biden as a man out to exact vengeance for a poor showing in the 2020 New Hampshire primary. 

“Joe Biden lost it badly, and it was a very tough time,” Trump said in New Hampshire. “He had a humiliating fifth-place defeat, and now he’s taking … revenge on the voters of your state by cruelly and disgracefully trashing this beloved political tradition.”

Back in 2020, Biden got about one-third the votes as New Hampshire winner Bernie Sanders and was also outpaced by Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, and Elizabeth Warren. In 2016, when he faced legitimate challengers, Trump carried New Hampshire with about 55,000 more votes than second-place John Kasich.