President Donald Trump formally launches his 2020 re-election campaign by presenting himself as the same political insurgent who shook up the Washington establishment four years ago and who is now a victim of an attempted ouster by Democrats.
Ryan Brooks reports.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "Keep America great." President Donald Trump kicked off his bid for re-election Tuesday (June 18) in the key battleground state of Florida.
And he sounded much like the Trump of 2016, focusing on old campaign themes like illegal immigration, the news media, and his old opponent, Hillary Clinton.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "... that Hillary Clinton, crooked Hillary..." It was an hour-and-twenty minute speech where he presented himself as a political insurgent ready to shake things up.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "Together we stared down a broken political establishment and we restored government by and for the people" He took on everything from China, to his 'space force', and declared himself a victim.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "By the way, that is a lot of fake news back there" He also again made an issue of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "An illegal attempt to overturn the results of the election, spy on our campaign, which is what they did, and subvert our democracy." More than two years into his term, Trump has also been bringing up positives, from a growing economy to low unemployment.
However, with over a year before election day, polls point to an uphill fight for Trump on the campaign trail.
A Reuters / Ipsos poll on June 11 gave Trump a 40% approval rating.
Some Americans' confidence in Trump has been undermined by issues that include the Russia inquiry, which found insufficient evidence to establish the Trump campaign engaged in a criminal conspiracy, as well as Trump's style of name-calling and shocking tweets.
Other polls have ranked him behind his main challengers from the Democrats, like front-runner Joe Biden.
On Tuesday, Trump came armed with sharp words for the crowded field of 24 hopefuls on the other side.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "Our radical Democrat opponents are driven by hatred, prejudice and rage.
They want to destroy you and they want to destroy our country as we know it.
It's not going to happen.
Not going to happen." Democrats have cited a series of promises Trump has not met in his first term, from lowering drug prices to closing tax loopholes for corporations.