Politics

Trump Returns to Trail in Miami as Biden Fights Off Revolt

Former US President Donald Trump (Hannah Beier/Photographer: Hannah Beier/Bloom)

(Bloomberg) -- Donald Trump is resurfacing on the campaign trail after laying low for days while a firestorm enveloped his rival President Joe Biden, who is fending off calls from within his own party to step aside for a younger Democratic nominee.

Just a few weeks ago, this was projected to be one of the worst periods of the campaign for Trump. He had been scheduled to face sentencing by a New York judge on Thursday for his conviction in a hush-money case. But a favorable US Supreme Court ruling on presidential immunity delayed that court reckoning, and much of his other legal problems, pushing chatter about upcoming trials and possible prison time off many voters’ radars.

Instead, it’s Biden who continues to face an onslaught of negative coverage stemming from stumbles during the June 27 presidential debate.

This week promises to be a productive one for Trump. In addition to holding rallies in front of friendly crowds at his Miami golf club on Tuesday and rural Pennsylvania on Saturday, he is readying a rollout of his vice presidential choice, introducing a party platform that embodies his world view and preparing for the Republican National Convention next week.

On Tuesday, Trump will appear with Florida Senator Marco Rubio, one of the top contenders to be his running mate at a rally at the Trump National Doral Miami, according to a person familiar with the event. Other vice presidential possibilities include Senator JD Vance of Ohio and North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum. Trump has drawn out the vice presidential selection process, vetting several candidates and waiting until right before the convention, which begins July 15 in Milwaukee, to announce his pick.

In an interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News Monday night, the former president said he had yet to make a decision, but plans to make an announcement in the coming week. He added that his running mate would be “a person that can do a fantastic job as president” as well as “somebody that helps you get elected, and there’s nothing wrong with that.” 

The campaign is planning to use the yet-to-be-named vice presidential candidate to court donors with two fundraisers planned next week during the convention, according to invitations obtained by Bloomberg News.

Palantir Technologies Inc.’s Jacob Helberg is also among the co-hosts for a fundraiser in Milwaukee next week sponsored by Trump’s Jewish Leadership Coalition.

Announcing key convention details has given Trump’s team further leeway to control the narrative. The campaign and Republican National Committee have signaled key themes for the convention: tax cuts, crime prevention and ending overseas wars, according to a schedule released Monday. The campaign is expected to pick politicians, business leaders and advocates to speak on those topics, but have not made those names public.

The RNC also released the party platform on Monday, a document that calls to address the migrant border crisis, bolster domestic energy production as well as cut taxes. The party also seeks the repeal of Biden’s economic, energy and immigration policies.

Trump extensively wrote and edited the platform, according to a person familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal proceedings. It is the latest sign of the former president’s hold on his party. 

The document was significantly shorter and less specific than previous versions, which allows Trump to keep an arm’s length from some policies that are less popular with voters, including restrictions on abortion and other reproductive health care.

“I think there’s a lot to be said about a document that is user friendly, that is easy to understand,” said Georgia’s RNC chairman Josh McKoon, who is serving on the committee. 

Trump’s control over the platform comes as he is distancing himself from the Project 2025 agenda, a sweeping policy plan crafted by several of his closest White House advisers, that has come under scrutiny for proposals to shutter some federal agencies, remove thousands of civil servants and bring in officials deemed more loyal to Trump.

International Effects

Trump’s orbit has also paid close attention in recent days to elections in the UK and France, believing that the dissatisfaction with inflation and immigration abroad is a signal that Trump’s message will resonate with voters in November, several people say.

Christopher Wlezien, a political economist who studies political campaigns across the world, said incumbency is usually an advantage — but that global dissatisfaction with the economy could provide an anti-incumbent wave like the one that swept through much of the world in 2016.

“If the world is moving in parallel you expect those other elections to be a leading indicator” for the US, he said.

--With assistance from Nancy Cook, Gregory Korte and Bill Allison.

(Updates with Helberg-hosted fundraiser in Milwaukee in the eighth paragraph)

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.

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