Will he or won’t he run? Trump in Dayton sets date for his big announcement

Former President Donald Trump decided against announcing his 2024 presidential campaign during his Dayton rally on Monday, but he did say he will make a “big announcement” at his Florida home on Nov. 15.

He has said repeatedly that he is very likely to make a third bid for president but Republican officials and people close to him had urged him to wait until after the election to do so. At the rally Trump said he didn’t want to detract from the importance of the Nov. 8 election.

Trump spoke for about 90 minutes at his outdoor rally at Wright Brothers Aero Inc. at the Dayton International Airport, where he had campaign rallies in 2016 and 2020.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Trump stumped for his endorsed Republican candidates, including Cincinnati businessman J.D. Vance, who is running against U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Howland Twp. for U.S. Senate.

Trump spent most of the rally denouncing Democrats, repeating the falsehood that he won the 2020 election and outlining a long list of grievances about multiple criminal, civil and congressional investigations of him and his business.

He referred to Democrats as “radical leftists” or “far-left lunatics” and said U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, “impeached me twice for nothing.”

“I have gone through the largest witch hunt in the history of our country,” Trump said.

“J.D. you’ve got to get it stopped,” Trump said, turning to Vance. “That’s the beginning of communism.”

ExploreAnalysis: What does J.D. Vance gain from a Trump visit to Dayton?

Multiple investigations, election audits and court rulings nationwide, along with Trump’s then-Attorney General William Barr, found no evidence of widespread fraud or election problems that would have changed the fact that Joe Biden won the majority of the popular and electoral college votes.

Trump said the policies of President Biden and the Democratic Party-led Congress have ruined the country in the months since Trump left office in January 2021.

Spokespersons for Biden and the Ohio Democratic Party could not be reached for comment.

“We are a nation in decline. We are a failing nation,” Trump said, contending that the streets are ruled by drug dealers. “We are a nation that in many ways has become a joke.”

Referring to the FBI investigation of his removal of top secret documents from the White House, Trump said, “Maybe the country would be better off if I had the nuclear codes” because other countries would be more afraid of the U.S. if he did have those codes.

Trump also made multiple false claims, including that his border wall was three weeks from completion and that nothing is being done by the current administration to stop drugs from being smuggled into the U.S.

“Our country is becoming third world. That’s what’s happening to us,” Trump said.

Trump also called for an end to the nation’s current way of voting. He said the U.S. should allow people to vote on a single Election Day and use only paper ballots. Currently people can vote early and by mail using absentee ballots for several weeks before the election as long as their ballots arrive in time for Election Day.

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