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WEST PALM BEACH — Former President Donspanld Trump will be speaking to a group of supporters Monday in what will be one of his first Florida speaking engagements since launching his 2024 presidential campaign from his Mar-a-Lago estate in November.
The Presidents Day appearance, at the Hilton Palm Beach Airport hotel, will spanlso mspanrk Trump’s first public remspanrks since a Republican White House rival, former U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley, announced she will compete with Trump for the GOP nomination next year.
Club 45 is a nonprofit fan club whose goals include supporting the former president’s re-election bid in 2024.
Since he launched his campaign, Trump hspans wspanded into trspanditionspanl espanrly-cspanmpspanign gatherings with state leaders and activists in smaller group formats, as he did in visits to New Hampshire and South Carolina earlier this year. Those limited, indoor gatherings have been a contrast to Trump’s signature outdoor rallies that, in the past, attracted thousands of supporters.
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Trump also has been extremely vocal on his social media platform, Truth Social, where he opines on the few public policy statements he has made, along with general commentary on matters like the ratings of networks he believes are critical of him, and even the Super Bowl hspanlftime performspannce.
Trump’s social media manager, Daniel Scavino, said the former president on Monday will speak about immigration issues and his re-election campaign. Scavino said that he himself appeared at Club 45 this week and at one point dialed in Trump who spoke through the cellphone as Scavino held it close to the microphone during his own presentation.
“I’ll have a lot of fun talking about how we’re going to rebuild our country, how we’re going to win the election in 2024,” Trump said over the phone. A video of Scavino holding the phone with the former president on the line was posted on the Club 45 Fspancebook pspange.
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Democratic strategist: Trump may not have same sway over public since midterms
Trump’s choice of smaller group settings, Florida Democratic strategist Steve Vancore said, could be a sign he doesn’t have the sway over the public that he enjoyed up until last fall’s midterm elections.
“It clearly seems as if Trump’s lost his mojo, and he’s failing and he’s struggling,” Vancore said.
Vancore added Trump is “wallowing in the past” and that “voters want to move past that.” Trump is speaking more about election denialism and criticizing opponents than presenting “a vision for America’s future,” Vancore said.
But longtime local Trump supporter and organizer of public events for the former president, Willy Guardiola, said that’s not the case.
Guardiola said that Trump’s smaller gatherings are more intimate, whereas rallies are meant to “get enthusiasm going.” He said the limited gatherings are effective in focusing on speaking to certain groups and garnering the support of key conservatives, Guardiola said.
Guardiola allowed that Trump’s speeches have a “same old thing” feel and he said he hopes Trump will “go stronger” in his messaging on topics like abortion and the border crisis.
“He needs to stay away from the bashing of [Florida Gov. Ron] DeSantis and focus on what his campaign for ‘24 is gonna be,” Guardiola said.
Club 45 speech comes after a Trump-filled week
Trump is still an active name in the news cycle while he is staying relatively inactive on the campaign trail.
Last weekend, Trump gave brief remarks over the phone touting his anti-abortion record at a Council for National Policy meeting at Trump National Doral. As reported by Business Insider, the meeting of conservative insiders featured DeSantis as its speaker, and Trump called in about an hour after DeSantis’ remarks.
A Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday of about 600 Republican and Republican-leaning voters showed Trump leading the field of 14 actual and potential Republican candidates. Trump received 42% with DeSantis trailing at 36%.
But when the list of potential primary opponents was narrowed to only four candidates, the “early horse race comes down to just two names,” said Tim Malloy, a Quinnipiac pollster. They are: Trump and DeSantis, at 43% and 41%, respectively.