Former President Donald Trump still has yet to formally announce another presidential bid in 2024, but there is another major sign that he is leaning in that direction.
The 45th president’s super PAC is planning on holding its largest fundraiser to date this week at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida. The Make America Great Again, Again event is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 2. According to sources who spoke to Fox News, some of the Republican Party’s biggest donors are expected to show up.
The network went on to report:
The super PAC is steered by former Florida state Attorney General Pam Biondi, who defended the former president at his first Senate impeachment trial. But Trump’s adding to the group’s leadership. Ric Grenell and Matt Whitaker, who served as acting national intelligence director and acting attorney general during the Trump administration, respectively, are joining the super PAC’s board of directors.
The beefing up of the former president’s super PAC follows his move to expand his staff at his Save America political action committee, which recently brought on board longtime Trump aide Lynne Patton in a political coalitions building role.
Throughout 2020, Trump has been a “fundraising juggernaut,” Fox News noted, thanks in large part to a coordinated campaign utilizing texts, emails, ads, and campaign-style events. According to the most recent figures, Trump has managed to bank more than $100 million by the end of July via his three main fundraising apparatuses that include another PAC, Saving America.
July is the most recent reporting period so it’s hard to estimate how much money he has on hand now.
Thus far, Trump is playing the role of kingmaker, not king, having endorsed scores of Republican candidates around the country, most of which have won their races. And he is expected to continue doing so into the 2022 midterms; in fact, he has already backed several candidates including primary opponents of some of his biggest Republican critics like Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming.
And all along, Trump has floated the idea of a rematch against President Joe Biden in 2024.
Another indication that he wants to run, per Fox News: “For the first time, Trump’s political operation commissioned a poll in a hypothetical 2024 matchup between the former president and President Biden.”
“The survey was conducted in five key battleground states where Biden edged Trump in last year’s election to win the White House. It suggests Trump leading Biden by single digits in Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania and by double digits in Michigan and Wisconsin,” the network added, citing the poll by veteran Republican pollster Tony Fabrizio, “who polled for Trump’s 2016 presidential election victory and his 2020 reelection defeat.”
For now at least, Biden is planning to run for reelection, though he will be 82 and by far the oldest president to serve. That may change, however, as concerns about his health continue to swirl following the results of his first physical, in which doctors voiced concerns about a persistent cough and ‘stiffened gait’ allegedly from a previous foot fracture.
Asked in March at the first formal news conference of his presidency about his 2024 plans, Biden said, “My answer is yes. I plan on running for reelection. That’s my expectation.”
Democratic sources tell the network that Biden repeated that statement during a virtual fundraiser recently.
But that said, Biden’s approval ratings have been taking now for months, as has Vice President Kamala Harris’ ratings, leaving Democratic strategists fearful of a 2022 blowout ahead of more losses in 2024.
Mark Penn, political strategist and adviser to former President Bill Clinton, urged Biden earlier this month to stop playing to the left-wing of the party in an op-ed written with former president of the New York City Council Andrew Stein.
“If Democrats remain on their current course and keep coddling and catering to progressives, they could lose as many as 50 seats and control of the House in the 2022 midterm elections,” the two wrote in an op-ed published in The New York Times.