Speaking from his Mar a Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, Trump attacked the policies of current Pres. Joseph Biden, stoked fears of election fraud and touted his economic successes while in office — sometimes using false statistics to do so. Trump also said he wants to make dealing drugs punishable by death, in a system he claims is modeled on that of China.
The speech comes at a pivotal time for Republicans: In the 2022 midterms, the party is on track to make the fewest gains in the House by an opposition party since 2002 and has lost a seat in the Senate during a Democratic presidency for the first time since 1962.
Cornellians largely disparaged the announcement. Sam Smith ’26 said she hoped for a different candidate to win the Republican primaries.
“I’m disappointed but not surprised considering he’s mentioned numerous times before that he was going to run in 2024,” Smith said. “My biggest worry is that he will cause issues like [he] did in 2020 with his refusal to accept the election’s outcome. I’m hoping the Republican Party will choose a different candidate to really push through the primary, because it’s pretty clear at this point that Trump is a huge threat to democracy.”
Ria Panchal ’25 said she believes that Trump’s Republican nomination for president in 2024 would improve Democrats’ chances in the election.
“I think the poor performance of Trump-backed candidates in the midterms really shows how much moderates have moved away from him and how much support he’s losing from his own party,” Panchal said. “I think the GOP would do far worse [with Trump as the nominee] than if they had put out a more palatable candidate that had Trump’s full endorsement.”
Joshua Marion ’22 said he also believed Trump would be less of a threat to Biden in 2024 than other candidates, but that Trump might acquire the Republican nomination anyway.
“It’s boring and predictable. The elites don’t want him and the base seems to be moving away, but I can see him being the nominee out of ‘security’ like Biden was for Democrats,” Marion said. “He’s probably the least dangerous Republican to run against at this point, second only to [Sen. Ted] Cruz [(R-Texas)].”
Cornell Republicans President Avery Bower ’23 said that he, too, was not excited to see Trump running for the nomination again and believed his presence would hurt other candidates.
“After the dismal performance of Trump-endorsed Republican candidates in the midterms in what should have been a wave year, it is clear that Trump’s sway over the party has had a deleterious effect on Republican performance,” Bower said. “Trump running, especially while a must-win runoff election in Georgia is ongoing, will continue to drag down Republicans across the country.”
Bower prefers other possible candidates, like Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) and Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.), whom he said showed that they can boost down-ballot candidates and provide a strong model for the party going forwards.
“[DeSantis and Zeldin] engaged with pocket-book issues and common sense conservative policies, to great electoral success,” Bower said. “Their model is the future for the Republican Party. DeSantis is highly anticipated to run for President and, bar any significant changes in the political landscape, I will be supporting him in the 2024 primary.”
Meanwhile, in response to the speech, President Biden tweeted a one-minute video of his predecessor’s failures in office, including footage of the Jan. 6, 2021 attempted insurrection at the Capitol Building, captioning it “Donald Trump failed America.”