"I am tonight announcing my candidacy for president of the United States."
Former President Donald Trump, eschewing establishment calls to hold off and endless Democrat efforts to stop him, officially declared his 2024 presidential campaign Tuesday night.
"In order to make America great and glorious again, I am tonight announcing my candidacy for president of the United States," Trump told his crowd at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, in an address that is airing live on Newsmax.
In homage to his famed 2015 stroll down the Trump Tower escalator, Trump made his long-awaited 2024 Make America Great Again campaign announcement.
"Ladies and gentlemen, distinguished guests and my fellow citizens, America’s comeback starts right now," Trump’s speech began, denouncing the struggles of President Joe Biden’s America under Democrat rule, calling America "in decline."
"We are here tonight to declare that it does not have to be this way – does not have to be this way," Trump continued. "Two years ago, we were a great nation and soon we will be a great nation again. The decline of America is being forced upon us by Biden and the radical left lunatics running our government right into the ground. This decline is not a fate we must accept when given the choice.
"Are you getting ready? And I am too. I am, too."
A reported Federal Elections Commission filing showed a registration for "Donald J. Trump for President 2024" just minutes before his planned remarks.
Trump had been beating back recent calls for him to hold off his declaration, calling out establishment efforts to prop up primary challenges, including longtime allies Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Trump has sought to cool talk of a GOP primary challenge, blasting "Ron DeSanctimonious," denouncing former Vice President Mike Pence for failing to stand up for Jan. 6 debate on President Joe Biden’s Electoral College certification, and even throwing shade on Virginia GOP Gov. Glenn Youngkin last week.
Trump is still facing Democrat resistance, including continued attempts to frame him for the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol. He is also facing the investigation under the Presidential Records Act that led to the raid on his private residence at Mar-a-Lago in August.
At his midterm Save America rallies for his endorsed candidates, Trump has repeatedly maintained the "witch hunt" against him would stop if he were to back off future aspirations for the White House. But, like most of Trump’s political career, he is taking all of the opposition head on, starting what is going to be one of the most high-profile presidential campaigns in American history.
His 2020 presidential run was announced on the day he took office in January 2017. His June 2015 stroll down the Trump Tower escalator started it all.
Trump has long teased his 2024 run for the White House, but he called out archaic campaign finance laws for holding off until the 2022 midterms. Then, he decided he would allow the Republican candidates to have their moment without his own 2024 declaration taking the limelight.
Aides and allies had urged Trump to wait until after a Dec. 6 Senate runoff election in Georgia to announce his plans. But Trump, eager to end the speculation, is also hoping to stave off a long list of potential challengers.
Trump has already begun to lash out at DeSantis publicly and Tuesday, the Florida governor responded, dismissing the criticism as "noise."
"At the end of the day, I would just tell people to go check out the scoreboard from last Tuesday night," DeSantis told reporters.
Trump has blamed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., for the GOP’s midterm failures in Arizona and New Hampshire — and McConnell allies have criticized Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., who heads the Senate Republicans’ campaign committee, for launching a challenge to Senate minority leader.
Trump has the endorsements of No. 3 House Republican, Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-Fla., and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga.
"What’s really important for anybody who wants to be a 2024 candidate is to help us right now in 2022 to finish the cycle by winning the state of Georgia," Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., said of Herschel Walker’s Dec. 6 runoff hopes to unseat incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga.
Josh Holmes, a Republican consultant close to McConnell, said Trump remains "far and away the favorite" as he enters the race.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.