This year’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) focuses on the new kids on the block, the conservatives elected with tea party backing to overturn the liberal spending agenda in Washington. Nobody could have fit that description better than Donald Trump, who was a surprise speaker at CPAC and is planning to run for president.
Perhaps because Republicans won the House and are not gearing up for an imminent election, the 11,000 attendees seemed a bit less exuberant this year than last. But Trump electrified the crowd with a combination of shots across the Democratic bow and his trademark candid comments and boasts.
CPAC’s exhibit hall had the usual carnival–like atmosphere. Signs at booths said “Kill the Death Tax,” and “Defend Your Healthcare.” Everyone seemed to be interviewing everyone else.
But the star of the show clearly was Trump, who is gearing up to announce his candidacy in June. “If I run and if I win, this country will be respected again,” Trump promised to wild cheers.
-- Ronald Kessler, Feb. 11 Newsmax column
First, this CPAC event shamed itself by inviting Donald Trump to speak.
He is not, nor has he ever been a conservative. How quickly CPAC organizers forget Trump’s support of and praise for both Bill and Hillary Clinton in all their campaigns — as well as the scores of other liberal Democrats he has financed in states where he has business interests.
This is someone to be listened to? Especially as he trashes the one candidate, Ron Paul, who has maintained steady and consistent principles for over 30 years?
Last Sunday we celebrated the 100th birthday of America’s greatest conservative leader, Ronald Reagan. But by Thursday we were listening to Donald Trump comment on public issues?
Do we need any more proof how far off the rails the right has gone?
-- John LeBoutillier, Feb. 14 Newsmax column