President Donald Trump’s former White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, said Thursday that he would “absolutely” expect Trump to run again in 2024 if he lost the current election to Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
Although the election has not yet been called, as votes are still being counted in the major swing states, analysts increasingly believe Biden’s victory is likely. While in some cases Biden could achieve the 270 votes needed for victory with only one remaining state, Trump will have to win in several states.
“After this election, who is the leading Republican candidate in 2024? And I think now people are beginning to realize: ‘Wait a minute, if Donald Trump loses, he could be the one,'” said Mulvaney, who is now the U.S. special envoy to Northern Ireland, during an online address for the Institute of International and European Affairs.
“And I tell you, absolutely. Absolutely. I would absolutely expect the President to remain engaged in politics. I would definitely put him on the list of people who are expected to run in 2024. He doesn’t like to lose,” Mulvaney said.
Washington Newsday asked the Trump campaign for comment, but it did not respond immediately.
In a conversation with the BBC on Thursday, Bryan Lanza, the communications director of the president’s transition team after his 2016 election, also suggested that Trump could run again in four years. Lanza wrongly claimed that Trump was “younger than Joe Biden in his current candidacy for president, so age is not an issue”. Biden is 77, while Trump would be 78 in 2024. He said that “there is no one in the Republican Party who can challenge President Trump in the primaries.
A recent poll suggests that Trump would have a considerable base of Republican support if he were to lose to Biden and then seek re-election in 2024. The survey, conducted by The Washington Examiner/YouGov on October 30 and polling 1,200 registered voters, found that 38 percent of Republicans hope that the President will remain engaged in politics and seek reelection in the next presidential campaign. But 34 percent felt that he should withdraw from politics and give up his support for new leaders.
While American presidents are only allowed to serve two terms in the White House, nothing prevents Trump from running again in 2024 (or later) and serving a second, non-consecutive term. However, this has happened only once in the history of the United States, and that was more than 130 years ago. Former President Grover Cleveland lost his re-election in 1888 and won the presidency again four years later.
Steve Bannon, Trump’s former chief strategist, currently on trial for fraud, also suggested that the president would seek reelection if he lost in 2020. “If for any reason the election is stolen by Joe Biden or declared the winner in any way, Trump will announce that he will run for re-election in 2024,” Bannon told the Australian in October.