Trump in Dayton teases presidential run, paints bleak picture of America
The former president hit the high notes of GOP midterm messaging on crime, immigration and the economy.
CINCINNATI (WXIX) - Former President Trump strongly hinted at, but did not formally announce, his 2024 Presidential candidacy Monday in Ohio.
Trump spoke for around two hours at the Dayton International Airport in Vandalia on the eve of the 2022 midterms.
Coming into the rally, multiple national outlets reported the possibility that Trump would announce. Instead, he teased a “very big announcement” on Tuesday, Nov. 15 at Mar-A-Lago, Florida.
Trump was nominally in Ohio stumping for U.S. Senate hopeful J.D. Vance. Also in attendance were U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted and Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose.
Those attendees, including Vance, spoke for fewer than five minutes. DeWine was even booed when he took the podium.
Trump did the heavy lifting, hitting Republican midterm messaging on crime, immigration, the economy and geopolitical threats while painting a bleak picture of the country he helmed just two years ago. America then was “a great country,” he remarked. Twenty-four months later, it is a “joke,” a “cesspool” and “failing.”
Trump also continued to repeat the provable lie that he won the 2020 Presidential contest. In the next breath, he said former Vice President Mike Pence erred in certifying the results of the election, the decision that partly triggered the U.S. Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021.
“Our MAGA movement is by far the greatest political movement in the history of our country,” he said before excoriating his Democratic opponents as “sick, twisted and evil.”
Vance, an author and venture capitalist, was initially critical of Trump ahead of the 2016 election. His recent turnabout earned Trump’s endorsement and the 2022 Senate nomination in May’s bruising GOP primary.
Vance described himself Monday night prior to Trump’s arrival as an America-First candidate, according to the New York Times. “No more RINOs, no more people who compromise and lose our country in the process,” he said.
Ryan cultivated a grassroots approach and styled himself as a working man while eschewing the Democratic establishment on household and pocketbook issues that loom large in 2022.
Trump carried Ohio by eight points in 2020, and the state is considered red-leaning.
Early polls had Ryan with the lead. Professional pollsters, however, warned against putting stock in numbers out of Ohio, and Vance’s late surge, helped by a $30 million infusion from Sen. Mitch McConnell’s Senate Leadership Fund, appears to bear them out.
The race is one of several destined to determine the balance of power in the Senate, which is currently split down the middle.
Ohio Democratic Party Chair Elizabeth Walters released the following statement ahead of Trump’s rally:
“Tonight, Donald Trump is coming in to try to save a lackluster bunch of Ohio Republicans who desperately need saving. From a California transplant running for senate, whose campaign has been on life support from the beginning, to a governor who has been running for office for 40 years that Trump once called on Republicans to primary, it’s clear these Republicans need all the help they can get. We’re confident Ohio voters will see through the last minute act of desperation and elect Democrats up and down the ballot tomorrow.”
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