Trump focuses on Biden Rematch and suggests skipping GOP debates

MANCHESTER, NH (AP) – Former President donald trump turned his attention to Thursday’s general election using his first campaign appearance since President Joe Biden launched his own reelection bid to boast about his poll numbers and suggest he doesn’t need to debate his Republican rivals.

Trump’s appearance in New Hampshire marked his first return to an early voting state since his legal troubles mounted with one indictment in New York. He spoke the same day that his former Vice President Mike Pence testified before a federal grand jury Examining Trump and his allies’ efforts to overturn the 2020 election. Meanwhile writer E. Jean Carroll testifies for a second day Thursday in a civil rape trial against Trump over an encounter in the 1990s, a claim he denies.

“We are a nation in serious decline, a nation that has lost its way,” Trump said at a hotel in downtown Manchester, a smaller venue than his typical large rallies. “We are being led by a hopeless person, but we will win in 2024 and make America great again. We can do it. It is not too late.”

Alluding to his 2016 race, Trump said he was retiring the “crooked” moniker he used to define Democratic rival Hillary Clinton and will now apply it to Biden instead. He vowed to take back the White House and “take care of our unfinished business” in a possible rematch with the current president in 2024.

“Donald Trump may think of many nicknames for President Biden, but we have a better one: winner,” Moussa said.

Trump’s appearance in New Hampshire came two days after Biden’s appearance long-awaited re-election campaign, to present itself as a pillar against Trump and his Make America Great Again movement, as in 2020. Bidens Campaign launch video included Snaps of Trump warning of “MAGA extremists” working to erode freedoms, including voting rights and abortion rights.

Trump is considered the front runner for the GOP nomination. although more Republicans are expected to join the race soon, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Trump’s campaign began this week by airing his first television ad attacking DeSantis. In the ad, Trump credits DeSantis’ political rise and shows the governor yoking himself to the former president, including clips from a 2018 gubernatorial campaign ad in which he used some of Trump’s catchphrases like “build the wall” and “you.” ‘re fired.”

Trump who has pondered skipping primary debates, on Thursday pointed to his considerable electoral advantage and asked why he should bother to take part in the debates. “Why would you do that?” he asked the crowd.

Two weeks ago, Trump appeared with several other announced and potential presidential candidates at the National Rifle Association convention in Indianapolis. Last weekend, him spoke via video to a gathering of evangelicals in Iowa This marked the unofficial start of the state’s 2024 caucus campaign.

“It doesn’t feel good to have such conservatives and great Republicans fighting each other,” said Kathy Holmes, a 69-year-old retired teacher from Chichester who attended Trump’s event on Thursday. Holmes, who said she plans to vote for Trump in the state primary, wore homemade buttons of Trump’s face with messy blonde hair glued to them.

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Holmes said she would rather see DeSantis wait and instead run for president in 2028.

“We’re being led by a hopeless person, but we’re going to win in 2024 and make America great again,” the former president said. “We can do it. It is not too late.”

Maureen Anderson, a 43-year-old from the Boston area who said she follows the QAnon conspiracy theory, said Thursday’s event marked the first time she would see Trump in person. Wearing a red “MAGA” hat, the longtime Trump supporter said she would support Trump in the primary regardless of his legal woes.

“I feel like they don’t have anything against him and they just keep trying to find another way to get him,” she said of the legal cases. “But they won’t get him.”

Trump stopped at a downtown diner after his event, where he posed for photos and signed autographs. Someone in the crowd tried to draw Trump’s attention to a woman by shouting “She’s a J-6,” referring to people who were present at the January 6, 2021 US Capitol riot.

“Where is she?” asked Trump, turning his head and motioning for her to come through the packed crowd. He leaned in between members of his security detail to say, “Just hold on” and something else unintelligible, then repeated, “Just hold on.”

The woman handed a backpack out of the crowd to get him signed, shouting, “I took it on January 6.” He signed it.

Former President made it another visit to New Hampshire Earlier this year, he stopped at the Salem White House as part of his first appearances in his final campaign.

Cooper reported from Phoenix.

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