Democrats fire back as Trump announces presidential bid

Democrats quickly went on the offensive Tuesday night as former President Trump announced his 2024 presidential campaign, portraying him as unfit to serve following the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot and the former president’s promotion of unfounded claims of election fraud.

Trump’s announcement makes him the first prominent Republican to enter the 2024 race, and as he was still on stage at Mar-a-Lago, President Biden released a video on Twitter firing back as he faces the potential of a rematch with his predecessor.

“Trump failed America,” the video concludes after attacking Trump on abortion, the economy and Jan. 6.

A reporter asked Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron at the G20 summit in Indonesia if they had a reaction to Trump’s announcement. The two shared a faint smile and Biden said “not really,” while Macron stayed silent.

Biden has not formally announced a reelection bid but has indicated he intends to run again, pointing to early 2023 for when to expect an official decision.

Just before the speech, the White House launched a new website lauding the Biden administration’s record, pointing to legislative victories like the bipartisan infrastructure law, which Biden signed exactly one year prior to Trump’s announcement.

Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison wrote on Twitter, “Donald Trump was a failure as president; that’s why he lost in 2020 and it’s why he will lose again.”

Harrison in a separate tweet noted that Fox News broke away from Trump’s speech before it concluded, saying it is evidence that Trump’s announcement was “low energy.”

“You can sum up Trump’s announcement tonight in one word: desperation,” Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) tweeted.

Multiple Democrats on the House Jan. 6 committee have attacked Trump throughout the week as his “special announcement” grew closer. 

“New Trump campaign. Same old lies,” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who chairs the House Intelligence Committee and also sits on the Jan. 6 panel, wrote Tuesday night.

“Lies about his record,” Schiff’s tweet continued. “Lies about immigrants. Lies about Biden. Lies about our children. Lies about our LGBTQ+ neighbors. Lies on top of lies on top of lies. New grift. Same old grifter.”

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (Ill.), a Republican member of the committee, also published a video of him calling Trump a conman as the former president was on stage.

Other Democratic lawmakers leveraged Trump’s announcement to raise money for Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), who is set to face off in a Senate runoff against Republican Herschel Walker, who was endorsed by Trump in his primary.

Senate Democrats’ campaign arm tweeted a link to a donation page, describing Walker as an “extension of Trump.”

“The main thing you need to know about Trump announcing for re-election is that Raphael Warnock is in a runoff and it’s exactly 3 weeks from now and we don’t just need money we need it kinda fast,” Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) wrote.

Sens. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) and others quickly shared Schatz’s posts supporting Warnock.

“We have a long way to go until the next presidential election, but I want to tell you right now, it’s not about him,” tweeted Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.). 

“2024 will not be a referendum on one person,” Booker continued. “It’s going to be a referendum on who we are. If we lead with empathy, grace, and justice, we will rise.”

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