Trump Floats 3rd Term Prospects

( – Republican nominee and former president Donald Trump teased supporters recently, discussing whether he would be a two or three-term president. Previously, he’s always insisted two terms would be enough. Of course, there’s the small issue of the Constitution preventing anyone from serving three terms in the Oval Office…

On May 18, Trump spoke to NRA members at a convention in Dallas, where he won praise for his defense of Second Amendment rights. During his speech, he mused on whether, if he wins re-election in November, he was “going to be considered three-term or two-term?” At least one of the audience had an opinion on that because a shout of “Three!” could be heard as Trump continued speaking.

Trump has discussed his political future before, but he’s always said he only planned to serve two terms. Last year he told NBC’s Kristen Welker he didn’t plan to run for a third term. He told Time magazine the same in an interview in April.

Of course, the elephant in the room is the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution. This was ratified in 1951 in response to Franklin D Roosevelt winning four terms as president. Until then, there had been no term limits on the presidency, although they’d been debated at various times. However, in practice, no president had served more than two terms, so it wasn’t a high priority. After Roosevelt died in office in 1945, legislators decided it was time to act and Congress approved the 22nd Amendment in 1947.

As long as the 22nd Amendment is in place, there’s no way for Trump to become a three-term president; it prohibits anyone who’s been elected to the presidency twice from running again, whether their terms were consecutive or not. Revoking the 22nd Amendment would need two-thirds of states to vote in favor, and that’s a high bar. In his Newsweek interview Trump said he had no interest in challenging the amendment, so while a third term is interesting speculation, right now there’s no path to it.

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