Former President Donald Trump will address a Heritage Foundation gathering on April 21, the first time he has addressed the group since his first year in office.
“We need bold leaders who speak candidly, and President Trump is unafraid to do so—even as Big Tech and the media attempt to silence him,” Heritage President Kevin Roberts said, announcing the event. “We’re grateful that he will join us in Florida to discuss the significant issues facing our country and pinpoint the failures of the Biden-Harris regime.”
The relationship between the group and the former president was good, but not great, during his presidency. Many Heritage scholars filled Trump administration roles, unlike other conservative think tanks that declined to provide personnel or even worked against the administration, but the group’s policy agenda had been stuck in a previous generation of conservative thought. When it came to Trump’s push for deregulation, Supreme Court picks, tax cuts, and energy production, they worked well together. But on Big Tech, China, and other issues important to the growing new conservative coalition, the policy support was absent or even unhelpful.
Under the new leadership of Roberts, the group has revamped its policy agenda, announcing last week its seven strategic priorities, including ensuring election integrity, fighting Big Tech oppression, countering the threat of Communist China, and securing American borders. In 2020 Heritage rejected six-figure contributions from Big Tech companies Google and Facebook, after previously taking money from the groups.
The Foundation has become such a hot spot for other potential GOP nominees that the DNC even sent out a press advisory encouraging reporters to attend Sen. Rick Scott’s speech on Thursday about his policy agenda for the Senate.
In addition to Scott, Heritage has recently hosted former Vice President Mike Pence, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.
Heritage has also branched out from federal policy with Heritage Action, its grassroots arm that lobbies state governments for education reform and election integrity.