Fox Business host Stuart Varney had Fox contributor and Donald Trump’s daughter-in-law Lara Trump on his show only to tell her after the former president’s 2024 announcement that it seemed like he has lost the “old magic”.
“Those of us on the outside looking at it, it didn’t seem that he got the old magic, you know what I mean?” Varney asked Ms Trump.
“I highly disagree with that,” she responded. “Look, for Donald Trump, from the very beginning, from the first day he came down the escalator in 2015 in Trump Tower, it’s never been about elected officials, politicians, people in the swamp in DC.
“It’s been about the American people and if you look around the room last night, you had people from all different walks of life,” she added. “The energy there at Mar-a-Lago was absolutely incredible. It really did to me feel like the 2015, 2016 campaign all over again.”
Varney said that Mr Trump would be able to win the primary debates and eventually the GOP nomination but that he would struggle in the general election.
Pushing back, Ms Trump said that “they know how good it was with Trump in office”.
“Even those who might not like his tweets and personality, I think would be much happier to pay lower gas prices, to be able to afford their groceries, and to have a better trajectory for their lives,” she added.
Some conservatives said Mr Trump’s Tuesday night announcement speech was boring, and several former members of the Trump administration offered criticism of the former president.
Some reports suggested that Mar-a-Lago security staff stopped people from leaving before the speech was over.
Earlier on the same programme, Mr Varney also suggested to GOP strategist David Avella that Mr Trump could be losing his “old magic”.
Mr Avella said, “we’re going to find out” but later added that Mr Trump is the “frontrunner” for the GOP nomination.
Former Trump CIA director and secretary of state Mike Pompeo tweeted on Wednesday that “we need more seriousness, less noise, and leaders who are looking forward, not staring in the rearview mirror claiming victimhood” – possibly a reference to Mr Trump’s baseless claims that the 2020 election was stolen from him.
Former Trump chief of staff Mick Mulvaney tweeted on Tuesday night: “Want to know how much has changed since 2020? Fox News just cut away from the speech. Before Trump was finished.”
Mr Mulvaney wrote earlier in the night that it was a “good speech so far. But is he changing minds? He needs to get independent/swing voters. If he doesn’t he faces the same fate as many of his chosen midterm candidates: winning a primary and losing [a] general. And winning a primary but losing a general makes you a loser”.