President Donald Trump formally launched his 2020 re-election campaign on Tuesday by presenting himself as the same political insurgent who shook up the Washington establishment four years ago and who is now a victim of an attempted ouster by Democrats.
He revisited campaign themes from four years ago, decrying illegal immigration, the news media and his 2016 Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.
“Together we stared down a broken political establishment and we restored government by and for the people,” Trump said. “As long as you keep this team in place, we have a tremendous way to go. Our future has never looked brighter or sharper.”
Trump said his Democratic challengers would radically change the United States and seek to legalize migrants coming across the southern border so they could vote and boost the Democratic political base.
Democrats “want to destroy our country as we know it” and that it’s “not going to happen,” Trump said.
“We believe our country should be a sanctuary for law-abiding citizens, not for criminal aliens,” he said.
Two dozen Democrats are competing for their party’s nomination to face off against Trump in the November 2020 election. Many of the top Democrats lead Trump in opinion polls in battleground states.
Trump called his opponents a “radical left-wing mob” who would bring socialism to the United States.
“A vote for any Democrat in 2020 is a vote for the rise of radical socialism and the destruction of the American dream,” he said.
Trump made his re-election launch official at what was his 60th political rally since he took office in January 2017. He brought his wife, Melania, and a large contingent of senior White House staff.
“Tonight I stand before you to officially launch my campaign for a second term as president of the United States,” Trump said. “I promise you I will never ever let you down.”
A Reuters/Ipsos poll on June 11 gave Trump a 40% job approval rating, compared with 57% who disapproved. Other opinion polls have shown him running consistently behind his main Democratic challengers, such as Biden, in key battleground states.
Republican strategists say the fundamentals favor Trump as he heads into his election but that he faces challenges given his bare-knuckled approach, which he refuses to temper.
The Orlando Sentinel welcomed the president’s visit with an editorial titled: “Our endorsement for president in 2020: Not Donald Trump.”