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Trump Begins His Campaign in New Hampshire and South Carolina With Low-key Rallies

South Carolina’s Columbia, according to Reuters Donald Trump, a former U.S. president, made his first campaign stops in two early voting states on Saturday after announcing his intention to run for office again in 2024. Trump dismissed criticism that his campaign was off to a poor start.

Before making an appearance with his leadership team in Columbia, South Carolina, Trump spoke to a small group of attendees at the annual conference of the New Hampshire Republican Party in Salem, “I’m angrier now, and I’m more committed now than I ever was.”

The gatherings on Saturday were noticeably quieter than Trump’s usual loud rallies, which draw tens of thousands of supporters. Governor Henry McMaster and U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina flanked President Trump as he addressed 200 attendees in Columbia at the state capitol building.

Formerly the unquestioned leader of the Republican Party, Donald Trump has recently been under fire from a growing number of political leaders who doubt that he would be able to defeat Democratic President Joe Biden if he decides to run for office again, as is widely believed to be the case.

Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida, who is regarded as the largest challenge to Trump, is one of many Republicans who are debating whether to run for president.

Chris Sununu, the governor of New Hampshire, and Nikki Haley, the former governor of South Carolina, are just two of the prominent Republicans who are considering presidential runs in the two states that the former president visited.

The state party chairman, five of South Carolina’s Republican representatives, and U.S. Senator Tim Scott—who has himself been mentioned as a prospective Republican presidential candidate—were all noticeably absent.

Trump Begins His Campaign in New Hampshire and South Carolina With Low-key Rallies

To soothe their worries, Trump assured the gathering that he anticipated further endorsements from South Carolina’s state and federal leaders within the next several days.

According to a person with knowledge of the preparations, several Republican state leaders made the decision not to go after failing to secure guarantees from Trump’s campaign that their attendance would not be seen as an endorsement.

The Republican Party Chair in Sumter County, South Carolina, William Oden, declared he was a supporter of the former president but was leaving his options open.

Oden answered, “I’m not sure. “Until everyone leaves, we’re waiting. I wait to make decisions until after hearing from all the applicants, just like I would in business.

Aiming for Desantis?

Trump reiterated some of the themes that drove his 2016 campaign at both of his Saturday stops, harshly attacking China and illegal immigration in particular.

He did, however, also place a strong emphasis on social concerns, likely in response to DeSantis, whose unrelenting focus on cultural conflicts has helped elevate his standing across the country.

In Columbia, the former president blasted transgender rights and critical race theory education, a formerly obscure academic idea that has triggered school board protests and classroom prohibitions in certain states.

Trump declared, “We’re going to stop the left-wing extreme racists and perverts who are trying to indoctrinate our youth, and we’re going to get their Marxist hands off our kids.

We’re going to disprove the cult of gender ideology and reiterate that God only made males and women as two distinct genders. Men won’t be allowed to participate in women’s sports, we promise.

Trump Begins His Campaign in New Hampshire and South Carolina With Low-key Rallies

Trump did not devote much time to his complaints about the 2020 election, but he did make passing references to his untrue assertion that the election was rigged against him.

Trump has maintained a relatively quiet profile ever since he began his campaign in November. Early in January, he called several conservative Republicans serving in the U.S. House of Representatives to convince them to support a friend and potential speaker, Kevin McCarthy.

Despite McCarthy winning the election after a bloody contest, most people ignored his pleas. Trump still has a sizable fan base, especially among the working class.

While he trails DeSantis in some head-to-head polls, when poll participants are given a wider range of options, he triumphs by sizable percentages.

(Reporting by Ted Hesson in Washington and Gram Slattery in Columbia, South Carolina; editing by Ross Colvin, Daniel Wallis, and Cynthia Osterman)

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