U.S.Politics- CPAC-Trump-Elections-Big lie
March 1, 2021
By: NATHANIEL BALLANTYNE
TRUENEWSBLOG- After weeks in relative isolation at Mar-a-Lago without Twitter, Trump emerged at CPAC on Sunday ready to let loose. Here’s what we learned from his first big post-presidency speech:
Trump spent the first part of his speech blasting Biden — which is what his advisers were hoping for. Just when they might have breathed a sigh of relief, Trump went on a tear about the 2020 election being “rigged” and claimed he won — the very falsehood that led his followers to storm the Capitol on Jan. 6. “ We can never let this or other abuses of the 2020 election be repeated or happen again,” Trump said. “We need election integrity and election reform immediately. Republicans should be the party of honest elections.”
Republicans in Washington let out a collective groan becauseIt puts them right back in the position of rebuking Trump or looking spineless. Not to mention they think the stolen election claim hurts GOP turnout and is a big reason the party lost in Georgia.
From greatest accomplishment to top target. Once upon a time, Trump touted the filling of three Supreme Court vacancies as perhaps his greatest accomplishment. On Sunday, he attacked the conservative court as “cowards” for refusing his bid to overturn the election results.
“They should be ashamed of themselves,” he said. “They didn’t have the guts or the courage to make the right decision.” (Someone check Senate Minority Leader MITCH MCCONNELL’S blood pressure.)
Trump wants revenge. Trump advisers got him to clarify that he does not want to start a third party. He called such reports “fake news” and claimed the GOP was united. But Trump also couldn’t resist naming each Republican who voted to impeach him, including several who are already facing primary challenges. “Get rid of ’em all!” Trump said.
This is problematic for House Minority Leader KEVIN MCCARTHY: He’s going to have to choose between his own incumbents and the ex-president, who’s great for grassroots fundraising. Trump did go easy on McConnell. The crowd booed when Trump mentioned the Senate GOP leader, but Trump moved on quickly.
Trump wants Republicans to donate — to him only. “There’s only one way to contribute to our efforts to elect America First Republican conservatives and … to make America great again,” he told the crowd, “and that’s through Save America PAC and DonaldJTrump.com. … We need your help to win.”
The line was notable because, as NYT’s Maggie Haberman pointed out on Twitter, he seemed to imply Republicans shouldn’t give to other entities like, for example, the RNC.
Transgender rights are the right’s new culture war. While many CPAC attendees privately said Trump’s speech was ho-hum, with his standard-fare mentions of windmills and socialism, the former president did stir the crowd with anti-transgender rhetoric, particularly about women’s sports. As WaPo’s Dave Weigel noted on Twitter, Trump curbed transgender rights with executive orders but didn’t often talk about the issue at rallies. That changed Sunday, days after House Democrats passed the Equality Act.
Let the 2024 games begin. Trump teased another run for president, offering a taste of potentially years of will-he-or-won’t-he speculation he’s all too happy to stoke. The other 2024 hopefuls will have to get used to it. “Who knows?” Trump said of a potential sequel.
Surprisingly, only 68% of CPAC attendees said in their straw poll that they want Trump to run again, though 95% said they want his platform to remain the GOP’s.
MORE CPAC HEADLINES: “Trump teases 2024 run in CPAC remarks attacking Biden, Republican critics,” by David Siders … “Trump Wins CPAC Straw Poll, but Only 68 Percent Want Him to Run Again,” NYT … “News Networks Take Contrasting Approaches To Covering Donald Trump’s CPAC Speech,” Deadline
— About that straw poll … Orlando Sentinel: “[I]n a straw poll of CPAC attendees revealed just before Trump’s address, just 68% said they wanted Trump to run again in 2024, a smaller number than expected considering his 97% job approval among participants. The other 32% either said he shouldn’t run or had no opinion. In a separate poll of potential 2024 GOP nominees for president, Trump was the choice of 55% of attendees. Gov. Ron DeSantis came in second at 21%, with all other candidates in single digits. With Trump out of the mix, however, DeSantis was first with 43%. South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem came in second with 11%; Donald Trump Jr. got 8% for third.”
Notably, former VP MIKE PENCE received only 1%, behind not only DeSantis, Noem and Don Jr., but Mike Pompeo (7%), Ted Cruz (7%), Tucker Carlson (3%), Josh Hawley (3%), Nikki Haley (3%), Ivanka Trump (3%) and Rand Paul (2%).