Trump Backs Off Key Early Campaign Theme Because He Won’t ‘Have Time’

[Screenshot/Fox News/"Iowa Town Hall"]

Hailey Gomez General Assignment Reporter
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GOP presidential candidate and former President Donald Trump pulled back on his previous key campaign theme of “retribution” Wednesday night, stating that he won’t have time for it if he were to win the 2024 elections.

Trump appeared on Fox News’ Iowa town hall to discuss his campaign. Fox moderator Bret Baier questioned the former president about his previous comments about retribution, asking Trump how much of a potential term would be “looking forward.” (RELATED: Federal Judge Rejects Challenge To Trump’s Eligibility For Nevada Ballot)

“So there are questions about how much a second term of a Donald Trump presidency – second term – would be about retribution and looking backwards and grievances and how much would be looking forward?” Baier asked. 

Trump responded by stating that while “a lot of people” would not look down on a punishment due to a slew of previous “hoaxes” against the former president, the second term Trump administration would not “have time for retribution.”  

Trump continued to note that the “ultimate retribution” in his view “is success,” causing the audience to cheer on the former president. 

“Well, first of all, a lot of people would say that that’s not so bad, look what they did – Russia, Russia Russia hoax, the FBI/Twitter hoax, the 51 intelligence agents hoax, all of these different hoaxes that they did,” Trump stated. 

“A lot of people would say, that’s probably quite normal. I’m not going to have time for retribution. We’re going to make this country so successful again, I’m not gonna have time for retribution. And remember this, our ultimate retribution is success.”

On the campaign trail in 2023, the former president made multiple comments regarding retribution against opponents during his first term that sought to take him down, according to the Washington Post. In one instance, Trump was heard telling supporters during a July 2023 rally that voters should see him as “your retribution,” ABC News reported. (RELATED: Judge Blocks Trump From Giving Closing Argument At Own Trial)

The former president had stated that he would be looking to go after part of the federal government, including the Department of Justice, as well as the Biden family, in order to “totally obliterate the deep state,” according to ABC News.

Trump has previously stated his opposition towards the Department of Justice and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton due to their ongoing allegation of tying the former president to Russia collusion.