On Sunday evening, former President Donald Trump spoke to the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Fla., stating, “I might even decide to beat them a third time,” alluding to Democrats, to which the crowd erupted in cheering and clapping.
TRUMP: "Who knows? I may even decide to beat them for a third time, okay?" pic.twitter.com/0tMnejIe12
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) February 28, 2021
The Wall Street Journal on Jan. 19 claimed that Trump and “several aides” discussed the idea of a “Patriot Party” subsequent to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and others blaming him for the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. Trump asserted the idea is “fake news,” and that he has no plan to do so because it would cede votes to the left.
“I am not starting a new party. That was fake news. Fake news. Wouldn’t that be brilliant? Let’s start a new party and let’s divide our vote so that you can never win. No, we’re not interested in that,” Trump said.
The majority of Trump’s speech centered on Joe Biden’s far-left governance since taking office, as well as Trump’s intention to play a critical role for the GOP leading up to the 2022 midterms, as well as beyond, to fight back against the Democratic Party’s power monopoly.
“I am announcing that I will be actively working to elect strong, tough, and smart Republican leaders,” Trump said. “…We’re stronger than they are. Together in the coming years, we will carry forward the torch of American liberty. We will lead the conservative movement and the Republican Party back to a totally conclusive victory — and we’ve had tremendous victories, don’t ever forget it.”
“With your help, 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,” Trump continued. “And I wonder who that will be. I wonder who that will be.”
In the CPAC 2024 Presidential Straw Poll, 55 percent of attendees said that former President Trump would be their preferred nominee, followed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis at 21 percent and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem at 4 percent. Trump’s approval rating was measured at 97 percent, with 87 percent citing a “strong approval.” Seven in 10 respondees said they want Trump to run in 2024, while 90 percent said they would like to see the Republican Party champion Trump’s policies and agenda.
“So again you see how important to everybody here — the grassroots, the base of the conservative movement, the base of the Republican Party — it is either President Trump or a Trump candidate,” pollster and political strategist Jim McLaughlin said while announcing the results of the poll at CPAC prior to Trump taking the stage.
In accordance with Trump insisting that he will be at the forefront of helping the GOP win elections, he cited his prior success as president campaigning for Republicans.
“In last year’s congressional primaries, 120… Listen to this. It’s crazy. 120 of 122 candidates I endorsed won… 120. That’s almost as good as Jim’s wrestling record,” Trump said, referring to Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, who was in attendance.
“Because of my efforts campaigning, we had huge gains in the House. And I helped keep many senators in their seats and they will admit it,” Trump said. “So that it’s now 50/50, instead of Republicans being down anywhere from eight to 10 seats… We held rallies for some of the senators that went down and nobody talks about that. Nobody wants to talk. The press doesn’t talk about it. With me at the top of the ticket, not a single Republican member of Congress lost their race. For the first time in decades, we won 26 of 26 toss-up races.”
Trump’s first speech upon leaving the public eye very much resembled one of his staple rock show-like rallies that supporters have filled in the thousands in the past several years. The former president familiarly came out to “God Bless the U.S.A.” by Lee Greenwood and CPAC attendees chanted “USA-USA-USA!” as if had never left office.