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Trump opens 2024 run, saying he's 'more committed' than ever

Former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event at the South Carolina Statehouse, Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023.
Former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event at the South Carolina Statehouse, Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023. Copyright Reba Saldanha/Copyright 2022 The AP. All rights reserved.
Copyright Reba Saldanha/Copyright 2022 The AP. All rights reserved.
By Euronews with AP
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Former US President Donald Trump has kickstarted his 2024 run for the White House with rallies in New Hampshire and South Carolina.

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Former US President Donald Trump kicked off his 2024 White House bid with stops on Saturday in New Hampshire and South Carolina, events in early-voting states marking the first campaign appearances since announcing his latest run more than two months ago.

“Together we will complete the unfinished business of making America great again," Trump said at an evening event in Columbia to introduce his South Carolina leadership team.

Trump and his allies hope the events in states with enormous power in selecting the nominee will offer a show of force behind the former president after a sluggish start to his campaign that left many questioning his commitment to running again.

“They said, ‘He’s not doing rallies, he’s not campaigning. Maybe he’s lost that step,’" Trump said at the New Hampshire GOP’s annual meeting in Salem, his first event.

But, he told the audience of party leaders, “I’m angrier now and more committed now than I ever was.” In South Carolina, he further dismissed the speculation by saying that ”we have huge rallies planned, bigger than ever before."

While Trump has spent the months since he announced largely ensconced in his Florida club and at his nearby golf course, his aides insist they have been busy behind the scenes. 

His campaign opened a headquarters in Palm Beach, Florida, and has been hiring staff. And in recent weeks, backers have been reaching out to political operatives and elected officials to secure support for Trump at a critical point when other Republicans are preparing their own expected challenges.

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 primary leadoff spot. 

He accused Biden, a fifth-place finisher in New Hampshire in 2020, of "disgracefully trashing this beloved political tradition.”

“I hope you’re going to remember that during the general election,” Trump told party members. 

The Republican runner twice won the primary but lost the state each time to the Democrats.

While Trump remains the only declared 2024 presidential candidate, potential challengers, including Florida Gov, Ron 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.

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