Former President Donald Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign was “almost completely wrecked” due to disappointment at his much-anticipated “big announcement,” according to conservative commentator Ben Shapiro.
Trump’s nod to Wednesday’s announcement sparked widespread speculation that he may be planning to announce his election as vice president or a possible run for speaker of the House of Representatives.
On Thursday, he instead revealed the launch of $99 digital trading cards that portray themselves as superheroes, drawing ridicule from across the political spectrum.
Shapiro, who has been critical of the former president at times but supported his 2020 re-election campaign, suggested Friday the disappointment may have ruined Trump’s chances of a return to the White House.
“If the former President of the United States and a newly minted [candidate] for his third straight pick says he has an important announcement that people are going to take pretty seriously,” Shapiro said in the latest issue of The Ben Shapiro Show. “Instead, the big announcement almost completely annihilates his presidential campaign before it even gets off the ground.”
“The former President of the United States, a man jumping into the race as the putative frontrunner, is pathetic,” he continued. “When you say you have an important announcement and what you are actually dropping appears to be an NFT cash grab…. On every available front, it’s perhaps the dumbest policy I’ve ever seen. It’s just… it’s painful, it’s painful.”
Shapiro went on to say that he thought Trump’s NFT announcement video was “a deepfake” when he first saw it. He said Trump’s announcement showed he was too “unfocused” to defeat “the Democrat” in the next election, adding that he was “not sure.” [Trump] actually want to run.”
Shapiro was far from the only prominent conservative to lash out at Trump over the “big announcement.”
His former advisor, Steve Bannon, paused a clip of the announcement video during his own war room podcast on Thursday, in which he said he “can’t do this anymore” and called on those responsible to be “fired today.”
Despite the controversy, or perhaps because of it, Trump’s NFT collection quickly sold out within 24 hours of the announcement, nearly doubling in value, according to data from NFT marketplace OpenSea.
Andrew Rudalevige, Thomas Brackett Reed Professor of Government at Bowdoin College, said news week that the NFT announcement was “perfectly consistent with Mr. Trump’s extensive efforts to monetize the presidency.”
Rudalevige, who specializes in the study of the modern presidency, also suggested the announcement could have minimal impact on Trump’s 2024 GOP primary campaign, particularly among “superfans” of the former president.
“Perhaps the most important thing was the attention the announcement received,” Rudalevige said. “Trump superfans will find his short commercial humorous rather than reprehensible.”
“Still, it’s hardly an event that will deter other Republican candidates from seriously considering the 2024 nomination,” he added.
news week has reached out to Trump’s office for comment.
https://www.newsweek.com/donald-trump-2024-campaign-cratered-major-announcement-letdown-ben-shapiro-comments-1767867 Trump 2024 campaign ‘overshadowed’ by Major Announcement disappointment: Ben Shapiro