Many current and past advisers to former President Donald Trump are reportedly mystified at the lack of activity from the ex commander-in-chief nearly three weeks after announcing his 2024 presidential run.
“So far, he has gone down from his bedroom, made an announcement, gone back up to his bedroom and hasn’t been seen since except to have dinner with a White supremacist,” a 2020 Trump campaign adviser told CNN of the the 76-year-old former president’s inauspicious start to his campaign.
“It’s 1000% a ho-hum campaign,” the adviser added.
The 76-year-old’s apparent detached comportment so far in 2022 stands in stark contrast to the pace of his 2016 presidential campaign. In 2015, Trump made campaign stops in Iowa and New Hampshire, and announced a visit to South Carolina before the end of the first week after his announcement.
Trump’s Nov. 16 speech at his Mar-a-Lago estate signaling the start of his third White House run was widely panned for lacking energy and enthusiasm. Since the spectacle, no other Republican candidates have announced 2024 runs.
“I don’t know why he rushed this. It doesn’t make sense,” one Trump adviser said of the timing of his announcement, which came a week after the Nov. 8 midterm elections in which Republicans performed worse than expected.
“You know what it’s done to dissuade people from getting in? Nothing. He hasn’t hired anyone. He hasn’t been to the early states,” a 2020 Trump campaign adviser told CNN.
Several GOP megadonors have reportedly said that they will not support Trump in 2024 since his announcement, preferring to instead get behind Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, should he enter the 2024 fray.
“If Trump was working in a lush jungle environment in 2016, he is in a desert today,” another Trump ally told CNN. “The political landscape has totally changed. He was irresistible because no one understood him but now everybody knows how to deal with him, so the question is, can he recalibrate?”
People familiar with Trump’s current campaign told CNN that the current slow-going approach to 2024 is intentional and that the former president is pacing himself for a long two year run at the White House.
The campaign “is doing exactly what everyone always accuses [them] of not doing – taking a breather, planning and forming a strategy for the next two years,” a Trumpworld source told the news outlet.
“Senior staff are holed up working on a plan,” the person added.
“The question a lot of us have is can Trump sustain a campaign for two years. That’s the real difficulty here. The pacing we’re seeing right now is designed to do that,” a person close to Trump told CNN.