The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Dallas, Texas came with much anticipation and the speakers did not disappoint. Several high-profile Republican politicians, candidates, and media figures took the stage to address topics being highlighted in today’s political environment. To top off the proceedings, former President Donald Trump spoke to the crowd and demonstrated that the fire from Orlando’s event earlier this year has not subsided.
President Trump Brings the House Down
The CPAC crowd roared as Trump arrived on the stage after an hour-long wait. His speech, which lasted roughly 90 minutes, further electrified an audience that punctuated his remarks with chants of “USA!” and “You won!”
Trump began by affirming that the conservative movement would push back against the far-left agenda being enacted by Democrats and their close friends and allies in the activist media. “With the help of everyone here today, we will defeat the radical left, the socialists, Marxists and the critical race theorists,” the former president said, “we will secure our borders, we will stop left-wing cancel culture, we will restore free speech and free elections and we will make America great again.”
Trump called out President Joe Biden for his apparent failure to address the migrant crisis occurring at the southern border. “We deported criminal aliens by the thousands … and we built almost 500 miles of the border wall,” he said. “Now the Biden administration has turned the border into the single greatest disaster in American history.” The 45th president then slammed the hard left for its effort to use Big Tech to silence conservatives before touting the lawsuit he filed against social media companies. “They are hard at work to abolish the First Amendment as well,” he stated. “The radical left and big tech’s attack on free speech is unlawful, it’s unconstitutional and it is completely un-American.”
He then added: “To protect the Constitutional rights and liberties of every citizen this week I filed a major class action. A lot of people are joining.”
Don Huffines Makes an Impression
In an unexpectedly fiery speech, former Texas state Sen. Don Huffines, who is running against Gov. Greg Abbott in the upcoming primary, made a big impression when he addressed the crowd. He savaged Democrats for calling on Americans to “surrender to open borders, to sexualizing our children, to closing our businesses, and killing our babies.” Huffines also didn’t mince words when it came to criticizing Gov. Abbott for not adequately addressing the border crisis and his decision to shut down the state amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “Greg Abbott’s been governor for six years. He could have secured the border six years ago or six months ago. Why isn’t the border secure?” the candidate said.
The former lawmaker amped up his attack on the governor, pointing out that he “put 3 million Texans on unemployment and dependent on the government in one day” and “closed all of our churches on the holiest week of the year, Easter.” Huffines took the governor to task for his handling of the electrical grid failure that occurred during the winter storms in February, saying:
“Earlier this year, we were within four minutes of our electrical grid having a complete meltdown and sending us all into the Stone Age. Texas is the energy capital of the world. It’s another embarrassment of failed leadership … they can’t even keep the lights on.”
The disaster left millions of Texans without electricity or water, and many lost their lives during the freeze. Interestingly enough, Huffines received an outpouring of applause while criticizing Gov. Abbott, who enjoys the support of President Trump.
Kristi Noem Blasts Biden
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem also made a noteworthy showing. She started by announcing that she is a new grandmother and discussed how she is concerned about the country in which her granddaughter will be raised. The governor said that in Biden’s America, she does not “recognize the country I grew up in.”
Noem argued that under President Trump’s leadership, America was going in the right direction and stated that “Marxist indoctrination” and a weak immigration approach are two things that will destroy America “more than anything else.” Like Trump, the governor discussed the migrant crisis and the Biden administration’s inability to handle the influx of immigrants and unaccompanied minors:
“I was the very first governor that when Texas and Arizona asked for help, I sent my National Guard troops down there to help. I’m thankful that the governors asked and if the federal government’s going to fail to do their job, then governors are the ones who are going to have to step up and do it.”
Noem also called out Republican governors for deciding to impose lockdown orders during the coronavirus outbreak. She said:
“You talk about rewriting history. Let’s talk about rewriting history. We’ve got Republican governors across this country pretending they didn’t shut down their states, that they didn’t close their beaches. That they didn’t mandate masks. That they didn’t issue shelter in places, now I’m not picking fights with Republican governors. All I’m saying is we need leaders with grit.”
Like the March conference in Orlando, this gathering brought with it a notable level of excitement. The base is still fired up about conservative candidates’ chances for victory in 2022 and 2024. Conservative activists are eager to take on the Democrats on issues like Critical Race Theory, immigration, COVID-19, and other problems facing the nation. If Republicans can harness this enthusiasm, their prospects might be looking positive over the next few years.
Read more from Jeff Charles.