Last weekend featured dueling political conferences, one flush with cash from globalists hoping that Trump’s rival speech would be treated akin to George Washington’s Farewell Address. It was wishful thinking by Never-Trumpers, as instead Trump retook control of the GOP.
Trump’s nearly 2-hour speech at CPAC, which for many years has been the largest annual grassroots conservative gathering, was astounding for his vigor and enthusiasm. He called for an end of the unsuccessful influence on the Republican Party by the Bush family, Karl Rove, and Paul Ryan, who drove the party into the ground until Trump rejuvenated it.
“This is the final battle,” Trump declared to the roaring crowd gathered for him in Maryland, just outside of D.C., even though that is not Republican territory. Trump then rattled off an array of hot-button issues that form the political agenda for ordinary Americans through the presidential election next year.
The contrast between Trump and the worn-out ideas of his media-pandering rivals could not be greater. The hedge fund bosses and phony free traders who assembled at The Breakers, the posh hotel in Palm Beach, Florida, are not the crowd who will be picking the next president or electing candidates down-ballot, and it was a mistake for Trump’s rivals to see that as a path to the White House.
Ironically, it was Trump who gave any prominence to the candidates who seek to replace him as the Republican nominee for president, and their lack of gratitude to him is reason enough to prefer Trump. Nikki Haley was appointed Ambassador to the United Nations by Trump, and she was heckled by conservatives at CPAC after turning against him.
In 2018, Trump propelled Ron DeSantis to the gubernatorial nomination over a better known rival in Florida, where he won reelection in 2022 while finishing second overall in votes to its Trump-supporting Attorney General. DeSantis has not yet criticized Trump publicly, but in his 40-minute speech to globalists compared some Republicans to “potted plants” for allowing Leftists to frame the debate.
That criticism cannot apply to Trump, who relishes a good fight. DeSantis appears to be imitating Trump’s style without giving him credit.
Both Haley and DeSantis are traveling to Iowa, which remains the first contest on the Republican side and thus will set the tone for the primaries that follow. Trump enjoys enormous support among Republican officials in the early primary states, and he met with state leaders from Nevada while his rivals were auditioning before globalists.
“Failed former Congressman David McIntosh and his Globalist friends at Club for No Growth, who fought me all the way in 2016, and LOST, and then fought me again in 2020 Senate Races in Ohio, Alabama, North Carolina, New Hampshire, plus more, and LOST AGAIN, are now threatening to spend money against me,” Trump boomed. “No Growth Members know there will be RETRIBUTION!!!”, Trump added.
Trump is right about the Club for Growth, formerly led by Pat Toomey who was one of the few Senators to vote in support of the vindictive second impeachment of President Trump. Toomey then left the Senate and became a director of Apollo Global Management, a private equity firm profiting from globalism and from the notorious “carried interest” tax loophole that Trump tried to end but Toomey was an “all star” in preserving, a lobbyist told Bloomberg.
Club for Growth has lost many elections, and its campaign spending is too small to have any real influence. It spends less than half of 1% of the overall expenditures each election cycle, and Trump refers to it as “The Club For NO Growth, an assemblage of political misfits, globalists, and losers.”
Trump’s landslide victory in the straw poll at CPAC amassed three times as many votes as the distant runner-up Ron DeSantis, and was Trump’s record-setting sixth victory in that poll. That doubles the career victories by President Ronald Reagan in that same poll, and exceeds the four victories by the last GOP presidential nominee prior to Trump, Mitt Romney.
Trump’s speech was reminiscent of the Declaration of Independence in listing the grievances of the American People against the globalists who have run our country into the ground. Even the New York Times appears to agree with Trump in warning against further entanglement by the United States in the NATO war in Ukraine.
Steve Bannon quipped about the rivals to Trump, “We don’t have time for on-the-job training.” Trump’s rivals look like the seven dwarfs compared with Trump, and just imagine how much he can accomplish in a second term without anti-Trumpers like Ryan and Toomey on Capitol Hill.
Like General Douglas MacArthur vowing to return and then doing so to liberate the Philippines during World War II, Trump will return to the White House to finish the job he started.
John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work.