(NewsNation) — Former President Donald Trump launched his third campaign for the White House with events in New Hampshire and South Carolina Saturday. These were the first public events Trump has hosted since announcing his bid more than two months ago.
While recent polling has Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ahead of Trump among New Hampshire Republicans, Trump remains ahead of the field nationwide, leading DeSantis by 16 points, according to Real Clear Politics.
While Trump remains the only declared 2024 presidential candidate, potential challengers including DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who was Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations, are expected to get their campaigns underway in the coming months.
Many acknowledge the other potential Republican candidates could threaten the size of Trump’s base, but his supporters say they are fully behind him.
“I talked about polls all the time. In 2020 I didn’t have to because we didn’t have a lot of competition. We had no competition, I don’t think we have competition this time, either, to be honest,” said Trump at his New Hampshire event.
In New Hampshire, Trump promoted his campaign agenda, including immigration and crime, and said his policies would be the opposite of President Joe Biden’s. He cited the Democrats’ move to change the election calendar, costing New Hampshire its leadoff primary spot, and accused Biden, a fifth-place finisher in New Hampshire in 2020, of “disgracefully trashing this beloved political tradition.”
In response to critiques that he has lost momentum among Republican voters, Trump said he’s ready for the fight in 2024.
“They said, ‘He’s not doing rallies, he’s not campaigning. Maybe he’s lost that step,’” Trump said, addressing the criticism. But, he told the New Hampshire audience, “I’m more angry now and I’m more committed now than I ever was.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.