Trump plans address for CPAC next Sunday

Trump plans address for CPAC next Sunday

The former president will make his first long remarks since his tenure before the annual conference of conservatives on Feb. 28.

Credit…Anna Moneymaker / The New York Times
  • February 20, 2021

Former President Donald J. Trump will speak at the conservative event known as CPAC on Feb. 28, his first public appearance and long speech since he last left the White House last month.

A senior aide to Mr. Trump confirmed that he would be attending the Conservative Public Action Conference, to be held this year in Orlando, Florida and that he intended to talk about the future of the Republican Party and President Biden’s immigration . policy, which aimed to undo Mr. Trump.

What Mr. Trump wants to talk about and what he ends up saying once he’s on stage often diverge, as he throws out scripts that assistants prepare for him.

But it will be the first time he has spoken in a public setting since the deadly January 6 riot by his supporters in the Capitol.

The former president, who was permanently banned from Twitter and who faces investigations into his companies and whether he is to blame for the attack on the Capitol, has generally held down, except he gave a small round of interviews to sympathetic news outlets about the death of radio host Rush Limbaugh last week. While the interviews were supposed to be about Mr. Limbaugh, Mr. Trump still strayed to repeat his false claims that the 2020 election was stolen from him.

But CPAC has traditionally been a call for Republican candidates for office and aspiring figures in the party. And Mr. Trump has in recent days indicated to several allies and advisers that he is aiming to run for president again in 2024.

Whether he actually does that is an open question. But his presence could freeze the field for the next two years, preventing other candidates from developing operations and, more importantly, networks of donors to support their candidacy.

Trump is currently engaged in a battle with Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, over the future of the party and what kind of candidates it will attract. Mr. McConnell has made it clear that he wants to try to minimize Mr. Trump’s influence after the deadly riot.

But Mr Trump has said he will try to encourage candidates who will put forward his kind of politics.

The CPAC conference is the event where Trump delivered a speech a year ago, when it was held in Washington, DC, in which he downplayed the threat posed by the new coronavirus and insisted his administration be in control of the situation. A New Jersey man attending the conference tested positive for the virus and sparked a fight by officials from the American Conservative Union who are leading the conference.

Within two weeks of Mr Trump’s speech, the pandemic was a full-blown crisis, one that eventually engulfed his administration. The government’s failed response to the virus was a major problem for voters in the 2020 election.

Mr. Trump’s modern political life began with a speech at CPAC in 2011.

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