He announced his candidacy at Mar-a-Lago in a speech that ran more than an hour. I went through the transcript and pulled out the lines you need to see.
1. “There has never been anything like it, this great movement of ours. Never been anything like it, and perhaps there will never be anything like it again.”
Modesty, thy name is Donald Trump. And away we go!
2. “Together we built the greatest economy in the history of the world.”
This is an oldie-but-goodie from Trump’s 2020 stump speech. And it’s still not true.
3. “Many people think that because of this, China played a very active role in the 2020 election. Just saying.”
Trump here is suggesting that because his administration was hard on China that China somehow meddled in the 2020 election. There isn’t – as you probably already guessed – any evidence to back up that claim.
4. “The vicious ISIS caliphate, which no president was able to conquer, was decimated by me and our great warriors in less than three weeks.”
5. “And yet I’ve gone decades, decades without a war. The first president to do it for that long a period.”
Er, he was president for four years. So …
6. “Now we are a nation in decline. We are a failing nation.”
7. “Our southern border has been erased and our country is being invaded by millions and millions of unknown people, many of whom are entering for a very bad and sinister reason. And you know what that reason is.”
I actually don’t know what that reason is.
8. “The blood-soaked streets of our once-great cities are cesspools of violent crimes.”
9. “And Ukraine, which would have never happened if I were your president.”
This harks back to what Trump said during the 2016 Republican National Convention: “I alone can fix it.”
10. “Thanks to the words of wisdom, he said ‘thank you’ to the wrong country for inviting him to a major summit.”
Joe Biden made a verbal flub recently at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit, thanking the prime minister of Colombia when he meant Cambodia.
11. “You cannot mention the nuclear word. It’s too devastating.”
He just mentioned it.
12. “Under Biden and the radical Democrats, America has been mocked, derided and brought to its knees, perhaps like never before.”
This is a central theme of Trumpism and is likely to be a major talking point on the 2024 campaign trail. He is creating an image of America as a supplicant, begging other countries for things when we should be dominating them. He ran on that same message, to considerable effect, in 2016.
13. “I believe the American people will overwhelmingly reject the left’s platform of national ruin.”
Democrats are running on a platform of “national ruin”?
14. “Much criticism is being placed on the fact that the Republican Party should have done better. And frankly, much of this blame is correct.”
To be clear: Trump doesn’t accept any blame for what happened in the midterm elections. He is saying here that people blaming other Republicans for the party’s performance are right.
15. “I do want to point out that in the midterms, my endorsement success rate was 232 wins and only 22 losses.”
Like I said, he doesn’t accept any blame. It’s also worth pointing out here that Trump endorsed a lot of Republican candidates who were heavy favorites – padding his win-loss record.
16. “This is an elegant night and an elegant place.”
“Elegant” is one word for it.
17. “I’m not going to use the term ‘fake news media.’ So we’re going to keep it very elegant.”
He just used the term. And I am going to start keeping things “very elegant” from here on out.
18. “Despite the outcome in the Senate, we cannot lose hope and we must all work very hard for a gentleman and a great person named Herschel Walker.”
Many leading Republicans, including South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, had urged Trump to delay his 2024 announcement until after the Georgia Senate runoff election on December 6. Trump, um, did not take that advice.
19. “I said, ‘If you just keep a little bit lower standard, you’re going to have a big victory.’”
This is Trump trying to spin the election results – in which Republicans drastically underperformed expectations – into a victory.
20. “There are a lot of bad things, like going to Idaho and saying, ‘Welcome to the state of Florida, I really love it.’”
Trump appears to be referring to a false 2020 report on a satirical website that Biden confused Iowa and Idaho. That story has been debunked.
21. “In order to make America great and glorious again, I am tonight announcing my candidacy for president of the United States.”
22. “Some people say, ‘How do you speak before so many people all the time?’ When there’s love in the room, it’s really easy, if you want to know the truth.”
Do people really say that?
23. “If you look at the numbers, if you look at what’s happened with Hispanic, with African American, with Asian, and just look at what’s happening.”
24.” This will not be my campaign. This will be our campaign.”
This is a good line. Probably Trump’s best of the speech.
25. “And we love both sides.”
Trump spent the bulk of his speech up until this point declaring that Democrats have run the country into the ground. And yet, he loves them?
26. “We’re going to unify people. And it was happening in the previous administration, previous to the previous.”
“Previous to the previous.”
27. “Prior to Covid coming in, the people were calling me. … You wouldn’t believe it, people that were so far-left, I figured they’d never speak to me and I would never speak to them.”
Trump seems to be claiming here that very liberal people were calling him, pre-Covid, to tell him what an amazing job he was doing. Which, well, probably not.
28. “We call it the China virus.”
He calls it the “China virus.”
29. ” So, from now until Election Day, and 2024 which will come very quickly, we’ll go look at how time flies.”
Uh … just 720 days to go!
30. “And I say that not in laughter, I say that in tears.”
“I really can’t say, I guess I laugh to keep from crying.” – Q Tip
31. “We don’t want to be critics. We don’t want to be complainers. I never wanted to be a critic.”
He said this with a straight face.
32. “Everybody will agree with us because everybody sees what a bad job has been done during this two-year period, and it will be a four-year period.”
By 2024, everyone will agree with Trump!
33. “I didn’t need this. I had a nice easy life.”
This is a regular Trump refrain. The notion is that he is only running because the problems facing the country are so great and only he can fix them. That his campaign is somehow a selfless act.
34. “I was with President Xi, who’s now president for life. I call him ‘king.’ He said, ‘No, no, I’m not the king.’ I said, ‘Yes, you are the king. You’re president for life. It’s the same thing.’”
Trump’s admiration for someone who can be “president for life” comes through here loud and clear.
35. “Nobody’s remembering her now.”
Trump is talking here about former German Chancellor Angela Merkel who, apparently, no one remembers anymore.
36. “You can’t get anything. And good luck getting a turkey for Thanksgiving.”
Sorry, folks. Thanksgiving is canceled! See you next year!
37. “You’ve been standing for the for the whole event. I feel very guilty. I don’t want that.”
[narrator voice] He doesn’t feel guilty.
38. “We built the wall. We completed the wall. And then we said, ‘Let’s do more,’ and we did a lot more.
Trump did not complete the border wall.
39. “The cities are rotting, and they are indeed cesspools of blood.”
Well, that’s an image!
40. “In the caravans. I love the name. I came up with it. I love the name.”
Donald Trump invented the word “caravan”?
41. “We don’t need any more blue-ribbon committees.”
The war on blue-ribbon committees begins today!
42. “If you get caught dealing drugs, you have an immediate and quick trial. And by the end of the day, you’re executed. That’s a terrible thing.”
Trump is describing how drug dealers are treated in China. And if you think he actually thinks it’s a bad thing, I have a video rental company named Blockbuster that is a hot stock you might be interested in.
43. “That’s the only answer, no more ‘blue ribbon.’ I refuse to create them anymore.”
Yes, you’ve said that.
44. “My people told me, ‘Sir, that’s politically incorrect to say.’ I said, ‘That’s OK. I’ll say it anyway, if you don’t mind.’”
Always be wary when Trump starts with “sir.”
45. “I don’t like to think of myself as a politician, but I guess that’s what I am. I hate that thought.”
He said this after announcing his third bid for the White House.
46. “I’m a victim. I will tell you.”
Again, yes, he said this with a straight face.
47. “They spend all of the money for machines and all of this stuff and they end up two weeks later, three weeks later, by that time everyone forgot there was even at election.”
Donald Trump: Not a fan of machines.
48. “Our country was great. Our country is not great anymore.”
49. “Anyone who truly seeks to take on this rigged and corrupt system will be faced with a storm of fire that only a few could understand.”
“Storm of Fire” was the name of my second album.
50. “I think he got more subpoenas than any man in the history of our country.”
Trump is talking about his son Eric here. And yes, it’s weird to single him out so you can tout the number of subpoenas he’s received.
51. “I go home and she says, ‘You look angry and upset.’ I say, ‘Just leave me alone.’”
Trump is referring to his wife here. Marital bliss, ladies and gentlemen! Yeah, this feels like a good place to end.