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HomeNewsPoliticsTrump Rallies the Troops, Rails Against Media in Historic CPAC Speech

Trump Rallies the Troops, Rails Against Media in Historic CPAC Speech

President Donald J. Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Maryland on Feb. 24, 2017.
President Donald J. Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Maryland on Feb. 24, 2017.

President Donald J. Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Maryland on Feb. 24, 2017.

President Donald J. Trump addressed the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Maryland on Friday, becoming the first president to do so since Ronald Reagan.

“I wouldn’t miss a chance to talk to my friends, and I’ll see you next year and the year after that,” he said to a roaring crowd of conservative activists. Nothing says red meat to a crowd at CPAC than attacks on the mainstream media, which the president gave them without mercy and with a smiling face.

“The dishonest media will say he didn’t get a standing ovation. You know why? Because everyone stood and nobody sat,” he joked. But that’s what they’ll say. They’re the worst.”

He thanked his supporters in the room for his victory in November over Hillary Clinton and promised to deliver on the promises he made on the campaign trail.

“It’s patriots like you who made it happen. You did it be you love your country, you want a future for your children and because you want to make America Great Again.”

There was hardly a missed moment to take a crack at the political class, saying the “consultants aren’t good at politics, but they are really good at sucking up people’s money.”

“Never underestimate the people,” President Trump said, at one point even calling CNN “The Clinton News Network.” The leftwing network during the campaign was exposed by the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks for colluding with the Clinton campaign, but they have yet to respond to or even acknowledge the revelations.

“I want you all to know that we are fighting the fake news. It’s phony, it’s fake. A few days ago I called them the enemy of the people and they are,” he said. “There are some great reporters around. They are talented and as honorable as the day is long. But there are some terrible dishonest people. It doesn’t represent the people, it never will represent the people.

“I’m here fighting for you and I will continue to fight for you.”

But beneath the blistering attack on the media, the speech was a finale of a message that began with Vice President Mike Pence’s speech to the conference earlier in the week. It consisted of talking points typically heard at the conference but blended his own message of economic nationalism. Though he characterized his successful bid for the White House as “a win for conservative principles,” he also lamented how the U.S. has “spent trillions of dollars overseas while allowing our own infrastructure to fall into decay.”

Infrastructure spending is not an issue that would have typically elicited a favorable response from a CPAC crowd. But the speech demonstrated just how much of an impact the president has had on the Republican Party, but also the modern day conservative movement.

“We’re all a part of this very historic movement, a movement the likes of which the world has never seen before. The core conviction of our movement is the belief that we are a nation that put, and will put, our own citizens first,” President Trump said. “For too long we’ve traded away our jobs to other countries, we’ve defended other nations borders while leaving our borders wide open.”

On deportations, which altogether only total roughly 700 since he took office, the president said he views it as a return to law and order, another key tenet in his platform. He turned from bashing the media to what action he has already taken during his first month, what the administration is doing this week and what he plans to do in the future.

“As we speak today, ICE is finding the criminal illegal aliens–the gang members–and throwing them the hell out of our country,” he said, which was a line that drew one of the loudest applauses from the crowd of the speech.

“We’re preparing bold actions to lift restrictions on energy production, including shale, oil and clean coal. Miners are going back to work. We’ve begun a historic program to reduce regulations that are destroying our economy. We are going to put the regulation industry our of work, out of business.”

On defense, he vowed to reverse the impact that the sequester had on the U.S. military. The Obama-era cuts were the former president’s compromise during a debt ceiling battle with House Republicans and, agree with it or not, has resulted in the smallest military force the U.S. has had since World War II.

“Nobody will dare question our strength again. We believe in peace through strength,” he said. “We are going to keep radical Islamic terrorists the hell out of our country. We will not be deterred from this course, and in a matter of days we will take brand new action to keep Americans safe. I will never apologize for looking after the safety and security of the American people. I won’t do it. The security of the American people is number one.”

The president is expected to issue another executive order next week that answers the concerns from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which is the most liberal and overturned court in the country. The 9th Circuit refused to overturn a stay on President Trump’s first executive order temporarily banning travel from 7 Muslim-majority nations identified by the previous administration as known hotbeds of Islamic extremism.

“There no such thing as a global anthem. I’m not representing the world. I’m representing the people of our country,” the president said in closing. “As long as we have faith in each other and trust in God, there’s nothing we can’t do. The future belongs to us. The future belongs to America.”


[brid video=”116845″ player=”2077″ title=”CPAC LIVE Stream Day 2 President Trump Speaks”]

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