Former US president Donald Trump said nothing will stop him from seeking the White House once again in 2024 presidential elections, unless he's affected with grave health concerns.
Trump made the remark in a phone interview on Friday night, ahead of his planned rally in Perry, Georgia on Saturday to support his picks in key Republican primary races.
Asked by Real America's Voice host David Brody what might prevent him from running again, Trump responded: 'Well, I don't — I guess a bad call from a doctor or something, right?'
'Things happen. Through God, they happen,' he added. 'But I feel so good.'
Trump has set a record for losing the most presidential elections. https://t.co/Sr9QysrGnM— Darren Anderson (@danderson711) September 24, 2021
Trump, a hugely polarizing figure who was twice impeached while in office, has made little secret of his ambitions to re-take the White House.
But has avoided declaring his candidacy outright, likely on the principal that it is best to be an official candidate for as short a time as possible.
His grip on the Republican party remains firm, as he hopes to show at Saturday's rally, where he will back three candidates seeking the party's nominations.
Trump vowed that the rally would be 'epic' in a fundraising email to supporters this week writing that: 'Georgia is critical to our efforts to take back the House and Senate in 2022, and then the White House in 2024, which is why this rally is so important to me.'
Among his chosen candidates in Georgia is NFL legend Herschel Walker, who recently launched a Senate campaign to challenge Senator Raphael Warnock, a Democrat.
Also speaking will be U.S. Rep Jody Hice, Trump's choice against Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.
While Raffensperger, a Republican, refused Trump's entreaties to 'find' enough votes to overturn Trump´s narrow loss to Democratic President Joe Biden in Georgia, Hice objected to Georgia's electors in Congress.
Completing the trio is state Senator Burt Jones, an early Trump supporter who pushed measures to overturn Biden´s Georgia win and is running for lieutenant governor.
It's easy to see why they embrace his endorsement. Trump maintains overwhelming support among Republican voters.
Ballotpedia, which tracks Trump endorsements, says candidates he endorsed have won 37 of 43 competitive primaries since 2017.
Saturday's rally, though, is likely to be all about Trump, who remains the star of his own show and has vowed to air more of his unproven election fraud allegations regarding last year's contest.
In a statement on Friday, Trump vowed to discuss Arizona's election review, a Republican-backed effort that ended Friday with evidence supporting Biden's win there in November.
Trump claimed the review, which he called a 'Fraudit', 'shows incomprehensible Fraud at an Election Changing level, many times more votes than is needed.'
After six months of searching for evidence of fraud, the firm hired by Republican lawmakers issued a report that experts described as riddled with errors, bias and flawed methodology.
Still, even that partisan review came up with a vote tally that would not have altered the outcome, finding that Biden won by 360 more votes than the official results certified last year.
A majority of Republican voters continue to believe the election was stolen, despite dozens of state and local elections officials, numerous judges and Trump´s own attorney general saying Biden won fairly.
Trump has made his election fraud allegations a litmus test for candidates, only bestowing his endorsement on those who support his unproven claims.
Although some primary fields have been winnowed by Trump's endorsement - including in Wyoming where some Republicans dropped out of a primary against U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney after Trump tapped challenger Harriet Hageman - that hasn't happened in Georgia.
Walker faces three other Republicans including Gary Black, the state agriculture commissioner.
Trump's nod could be a liability in a general election, though. Trump lost narrowly in Georgia, and Republicans Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue lost runoffs for Senate seats to Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff by wider margins in January.
Many, including some Republicans, have said Trump's insistent claims that the November 2020 election was rigged depressed GOP runoff turnout, delivering U.S. Senate control to Democrats.
Democratic State Rep. Bee Nguyen, who is also running for secretary of state in 2022, said Trump's endorsements are part of his 'vendetta' against some Republicans.
Nguyen said Trump's activity will stir up Democratic voters, as will a restrictive election security law that Republicans passed this year.
Éric Zemmour, a right-wing TV star channeling Donald Trump, has dominated media coverage in the kickoff to France’s presidential elections next April. https://t.co/bbZM4wwXUQ— The New York Times (@nytimes) September 18, 2021
'It will continue to mobilize our base because our base understands voting rights are on the chopping block,' said Nguyen, who also predicted that the 'constant efforts to discredit the results of the November election' would fire up Democrats.
Some Republicans see it that way as well. GOP consultant Paul Shumaker noted in a June memo that polling showed voters in North Carolina were less likely to back a Trump-endorsed candidate and more likely to vote for a Biden-endorsed candidate.
'When comparing a Trump-endorsed candidate to a Biden-endorsed candidate, our advantage with the unaffiliated voters evaporates,' Shumaker wrote. 'In addition, the Democratic advantage widens with college graduates and suburban voters while the rural vote softens somewhat for Republicans.'
Shumaker is working for former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, who is running against Trump-endorsed U.S. Rep. Ted Budd in a Republican Senate primary to replace the retiring Richard Burr. Shumaker said the poll wasn't paid for by McCrory.
Party leaders have historically shied away from interfering in primaries, and when they did, it sometimes backfired.
In 1938, then President Franklin Delano Roosevelt intervened to support liberals and defeat conservatives who opposed his agenda. Roosevelt´s record was decidedly mixed.
Conservative Democratic incumbents such as Georgia Sen. Walter George survived and Republicans made big gains overall.
But former President Barack Obama waited until primaries were settled last year before endorsing. But some liberals have tried to shape the Democratic party with primary endorsements, including independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
© Associated Newspapers Ltd.