The Other McCain

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CPAC 2023: Trump Is Still the Big Dog

Posted on | March 4, 2023 | 1 Comment

Before former President Donald Trump spoke to a capacity ballroom tonight at CPAC, they announced the results of their 2024 presidential straw poll, and it wasn’t close: Trump 62%, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis 20%, and everybody else in single digits.

Of course, we’re still many months away from the first televised debates among primary contenders, but a result like that has to be encouraging to Trump, and discouraging to anybody else thinking they have a chance to take the Republican nomination away from the man who, in his fiery speech, promised “those who have been wronged and betrayed” that he will be “your retribution.” This was, among other things, a reference to the hundreds of his supporters arrested in the J6 Capitol riot.

Trump spoke for more than an hour and a half, and was repeatedly interrupted by chants of “USA! USA! USA!” More about the speech:

“The Republican Party was ruled by freaks, neocons, open border zealots, and fools,” Trump told CPAC, closing the four-day conference on Saturday. “We’re never going back to the party of Paul Ryan, Karl Rove, and Jeb Bush.”
“We are going to finish what we started,” he said. “We are going to complete this mission, we are going to see this battle through. We are going to make America great again.”
While criticizing Republicans who have proposed raising the eligibility age for Social Security and Medicare, Trump indirectly referenced Ukraine as he tries to distinguish himself from Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), who has solidified his position as Trump’s chief opponent for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. Trump is attempting to portray DeSantis as being closer to former President George W. Bush than his own “MAGA” base.
“We are never going back to a party that wants to give unlimited money to fight foreign endless wars, but demands we cut veteran benefits and retirement benefits at home,” he said.
“I’m the only candidate who can make this promise: I will prevent, and very easily, World War III,” he added, after which there were chants of “No more war!”
Trump also took on Democrats and his critics, describing them as people who “hate” the country and are seeking to “destroy it,” while contending they are “coming after” his supporters “and I’m just standing in their way.”
“Our enemies are lunatics and maniacs, and they cannot stand that they do not own me, they cannot shake me, they cannot control me,” he said. “I alone will never retreat.”
“In 2016, I declared: I am your voice,” he went on. “Today, I add: I am your warrior. I am your justice. And for those who have been wronged and betrayed: I am your retribution.”

Whatever his critics may say, the fact remains that Trump still has millions of loyal supporters who will show up to vote in Republican primaries, and unless something changes drastically in the next few month, it is unlikely that anyone — including Ron DeSantis — can stop Trump from being the GOP nominee in 2024.





One Response to “CPAC 2023: Trump Is Still the Big Dog”

  1. On Public Education Part I | okrahead
    March 4th, 2023 @ 10:43 pm

    […] Everyone else, just stay on the porch… […]