It’s not that anyone can get to speak at CPAC, but a year ago Donald Trump backed out instead of giving his speech.
In a speech to the conservative gathering full of nativism and anger, the president railed against the media, vowing ‘We’re going to do something about it’
This week it was different. This time he came as President of the United States of America, a job most attendees no doubt hired him for. And speak he did!
The raucous atmosphere resembled a Trump election rally, including his grand entry to the sound of Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA” and exit to the strains of the Rolling Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” Not sure what the message was there, probably not many not Trump people attending that day. Still, it was evidence of a man in perpetual campaign mode with thoughts of a no doubt planned re-election contest in 2020.
Some say Trumps appearance before America’s conservative movement on Friday was topped off with a negative bombastic speech that carried all the anger, nativism and rampant populism of his election campaign.
Others said it was optimistic, with Trump telling the country’s biggest annual gathering of conservative activists that he would crush the Islamic State, deport criminals, crack down on welfare, overhaul healthcare and put miners back to work.
Either way, just a year ago any kind of speech by Trump would have been unthinkable at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), where Trump gained just 15% in a straw poll of attendees during the Republican primary race. He pulled out of a scheduled speech amid predictions that he would have been booed.
In addition, the Presidents speech criticized the media and so-called “fake news”, claimed he loves the First Amendment more than anyone else, discussed his election victory last November, and his plan to dismantle Obamacare.