Addressing an overflow crowd on Sunday afternoon at the annual CPAC, former President Donald J. Trump said that the political journey he’s been on for more than four years “is far from over”—and in fact, “is just getting started.”
He said that the United States of America must always “come first”—not last.
Trump hinted at another run for the White House—and took a number of hard swipes at Joe Biden and the Biden administration over problems of illegal immigration at the southern border, a return (and payout of $500 million) to the World Health Organization, the destruction of the Keystone Pipeline permit, and many more issues.
“As we gather this week, we’re in the middle of a historic struggle for America’s future,” Trump said, “America’s culture, America’s institutions … and our most cherished principles, our security, our prosperity, and our very identity as Americans.”
Trump also said, “We are gathered this afternoon to talk about the future of our movement, the future of our party, and the future of our beloved country for the next four years. The brave Republicans in this room will be at the heart of the effort to oppose the radical Democrats, the fake news media, and their toxic cancel culture … and I want you to know that I’m going to continue to fight right by your side.”
Trump also put to rest the notion that he might be starting a new party—something he said came from “the fake news media.” “We have the Republican Party,” he said to cheers in the room. “It’s going to unite and be stronger than ever” going forward, Trump said.
“And we will fight the onslaught of radical socialism and, indeed, it all leads to communism once and for all … We all knew that the Biden administration was going to be bad, but none of us ever imagined just how bad they would be and how far-left they would go.”
“Joe Biden’s had the most disastrous first month of any president in modern history,” said Trump. “We have gone from America First to America Last … [and] there is no better example than the new and horrible crisis on our southern border.”
Trump said that when he left office “just six weeks ago, we had created the most secure border in U.S. history. We had built almost 500 miles of great border wall that helped us with [the illegal immigration] numbers … I’ve always [talked about] walls and wheels—those are two things that will never change.” He said that the Biden administration could have completed the “little sections” that were left to close up—but they didn’t “want to complete [that] … The Democrats’ number-one priority was to make sure that the wall would never, never get built, would never, ever happen, would never get financed … We brought illegal crossings to historic lows. [But] it took the new administration only a few weeks to turn this unprecedented accomplishment into a self-inflicted humanitarian and national security disaster by recklessly eliminating our border security measures.”
Noting the thousands who are now headed for the U.S. from nations to the south of us, Trump also said, “We’re one country—we can’t afford the problems of the world, as much as we’d love to. We’d love to help, but we can’t do that. [But] they’re all coming [now] because of promises and foolish words [from] Joe Biden.”
Trump also said, “The Republican Party must hold Joe Biden and the Democrats accountable. They ripped up the diplomatic agreements we negotiated with Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador to shut down illegal immigration.”
Referring to the “China virus,” he said that “millions of American children are having their futures destroyed by Joe Biden’s anti-science school closures,” while the Biden administration is taking pride in educating illegal immigrant children at the border.
“Joe Biden sold out America’s children to the teachers’ unions. His position is morally inexcusable … Joe Biden shamefully betrayed America’s youth and he is cruelly keeping our children locked in their homes for no reason whatsoever,” said Trump.
Trump also referenced the Democrats’ “$1.9 trillion boondoggle,” only a small portion of which is going to COVID relief measures, as well as the “modern-day medical miracle” of the two early COVID vaccines that the Trump administration ushered in over a stunningly short amount of time.
“Joe Biden is only implementing the plan that we put in place,” said Trump—”and if we had an honest media, which we don’t, they would say it loud and clear. By the time I left that magnificent house at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, almost 20 million Americans had already been vaccinated.”
Yet when Biden got into office, said Trump, “Biden said there was no vaccine.”
“I don’t think he said that, frankly, in a malicious way,” said Trump. “I really don’t. I actually believe he said that because he didn’t really know what the hell was happening,” added Trump, in his typical blunt, bracing style, adding that it was “good” that Joe Biden “got his [coronavirus] shot last year.”
Trump also spoke about ending America’s endless wars; the peace deals in the Middle East that his administration accomplished; the key need, going forward, for “one election day,” allowing for the “legitimate need” for people to vote by mail but to limit that situation to those who are very sick, out of the country, in the military, or the like.
He also talked about vital improvements needed for America’s election integrity, urging voter ID and declaring that the November 2020 election “was rigged.”
“Voting is our most sacred institution,” said Trump, “and there must be chain-of-custody protection for every ballot” that’s cast in our country.
He also noted that HR 1 “is a disaster” and that “this monster must be stopped. It cannot be allowed to pass.” Among other points, it “requires states to give ballots to felons, automatically registers every welfare recipient to vote, and puts unaccountable, unelected bureaucrats in charge of growing congressional districts,” said Trump.
He also said Democrats are “vicious” and “smart”—and that “they always stick together” on “horrible” policy ideas like the Green New Deal.
“But the Republican Party is united … I think we have tremendous unity,” said Trump—except, that is, for a “handful” of “partisan political hacks.”
“That’s why I am announcing that I will be actively working to elect strong, tough Republican leaders,” said Trump. “We want” great GOP leaders for this country, he added.
“Thanks to my coattails, Democrats failed to flip a single state legislature … because Republicans came out to vote for me,” Trump also said.
He predicted that in 2024, a “Republican will make a triumphant return to the White House,” said Trump, adding, “I wonder who that will be. I wonder who that will be!”
The speech in Orlando, Florida, marked the first time since late January that the 45th president delivered a public address.
It was one of the most significant addresses from Trump.
Among the earlier speakers and panel participants as this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference were Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), former Georgia State Rep. Vernon Jones, and media entrepreneur Wayne Dupree.
Check out the tweets below for other highlights.
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Maureen Mackey is a writer, editor, web content strategist, and regular contributor to Christian News Journal.