Trump Tries a New Campaign Tack: Small-Scale

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Still, as Mr. Trump stood in the ornate second-floor lobby of the State Capitol — just outside the House chamber where Mr. Scott served before running for Congress, and a floor above the governor’s office that helped Ms. Haley raise her national profile — his choice of venue could be viewed as a direct message to his potential challengers.

“Together, we will complete the unfinished business to make America great again,” Mr. Trump said before introducing his leadership team.

Before the event, Mr. Trump told reporters that the death of Tyre Nichols, a Black man who was beaten by Memphis police officers, was “terrible” but not reason alone to call for police reform. “You have to get the right people that know when you have to be tough and when not to be tough,” Mr. Trump said of law enforcement. “This was a case of being very, very tough — overly, overly crazy. And it was sad to watch, it was a very sad thing to watch. He was begging for his mother.”

Jane Brady, a Republican National Committee member from Delaware, said Mr. Trump’s pugilistic personality had long been a distraction from his policies, which, generally, much of the party supports.

“Some people look past that, and some people don’t,” she said.

Alex Olson, a Republican strategist, was in Salem, N.H., on behalf of Ron to the Rescue, a new super PAC that is pushing for a 2024 bid by Mr. DeSantis. (The governor and the group are unaffiliated.)

“We have no problem with what Trump has done as president,” Mr. Olson said. “I supported him. But DeSantis can bring together the Chamber of Commerce Republicans and the MAGA Republicans. He is less bombastic, and he understands the legislative process.”

Michael C. Bender reported from Columbia, S.C., and Mei-Ling McNamara from Salem, N.H. Reid J. Epstein contributed reporting from Washington, and Maggie Haberman from New York.

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