Donald Trump’s First Public Appearance at CPAC 2021

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Murphy Eggers, Contributor

On March, 28 former President Donald J. Trump made his first appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida.  The whole weekend was filled with heavy anticipation ahead of the former President’s speech.

Prior to his speech, straw-polls from the weekend were revealed to attendees.  The first poll that was shown to the audience asked attendees what they thought the most important issue was in the Republican party.  At the top of the list was the problem of election integrity with 62 points.  Election integrity was followed by Constitutional rights, with 48 points, then Immigration/ Border Wall with 35 points.

The next poll asked “When it comes to former President Donald Trump’s issue agenda and policies, which of the following comes closest to your personal opinion?”  Astoundingly, 95 percent of attendees who took the poll responded “Republicans should continue Donald Trump’s issue agenda and policies.” One other poll asked attendees which Republican they would vote for in the 2024 presidential election.  Donald Trump won by a landslide with 55 percent of the vote followed by Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis with 21 percent of the vote. 

Without a doubt, the vast majority of CPAC 2021 attendees were passionate Trump supporters.  Even Donald Trump Jr. referred to CPAC as “TPAC” short for Trump Political Action Conference because of the large number of Trump supporters in attendance. 

After over an hour of Trump’s scheduled speech time, he walked on to the stage to present his dismay for President Biden’s first month in office.  He claimed that the Biden administration has proved that they are anti-jobs, anti-family, anti-borders, anti-energy, anti-women, and anti-science.  He went on to say, “In just one short month, we have gone from America first to America last.”

Many reporters have referred to these Trump supporters as believing in Trumpism.  This term is ambiguous because of the ideas of people on what they believe Trump stands for.  In Trump’s speech, he addressed the Trumpism term and defined it in clarity for all to hear. 

“Many people have asked, what is Trumpism? A new term being used more and more. I’m hearing that term more and more. I didn’t come up with it.  It means low taxes and eliminating job killing regulations, trumpism. It means strong borders, it means no riots in the streets, it means law enforcement. It means very strong protection for the second amendment and the right to keep and bear arms.  It means support for the forgotten men and women who have been taken advantage of for so many years and they were doing great and it means a strong military. And, of course, we respect our great american flag.”

Trump continued to debunk rumors of a potential new political party that people thought he would create in the wake of his loss to Biden.  Trump responded to these rumors by saying, “We have the republican party it’s going to unite and be stronger than ever before I am not starting a new party.”  He went on to say that he did not believe it would be a good idea to start a party because it would disperse the votes between the Trump party and the Republian party causing less votes for both Trump’s rumored party and the Republican party.

Trump closed his speech with a potential hint at running again in 2024 by announcing, “We will take back the house, we will win the senate and then a republican president will make a triumphant return to the white house and I wonder who that will be I wonder who that will be.”  There was already speculation that Trump would possibly run for president again after his loss, but his speech nearly confirmed it.

Overall, the scene at CPAC was very interesting because of the intense political tension it has faced over the past year.  It seems that many Republicans still believe Trump never lost the election and he is still the President of the United States. Everything going on at the event seemed to be overshadowed by re-electing Donald Trump as president even though there were many Republican presidential hopefuls who spoke at the event and were in attendance.  In fact, Donald Trump already seems to be putting intense effort to raise money for his potential 2024 campaign.  All that is left to ask after Trump’s speech at CPAC 2021 is do Republicans want Trump again or should they just move on?