On the second day of CPAC, it was obvious who the crowds came to see and Trump delivered a memorable speech.
Many in the Trump administration also spoke at the convention. The administration was well represented on the first day of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) outside Washington, D.C. The president’s beleaguered counselor, Kellyanne Conway, kicked off a morning session at the annual political event and a few hours later Education Secretary Betsy DeVos took the stage of the main ballroom of the Gaylord Resort in National Harbor Maryland just south of the capital.
Both women have served as mainstream media punching bags lately and undoubtedly enjoyed a friendlier crowd at the annual powow. Conway ran President Trump’s campaign and spoke about what it’s like to work for the commander-in-chief.
DeVos, who recently endured hostile Senate confirmation hearings, joked; “I’m sure you heard all the wonderful things the media has called me” and reminded the crowd that she was the was the first to tell former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders that there’s no such thing as a free lunch.
Minutes after DeVos spoke in the main ballroom, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and White House Strategist Steve Bannon took the stage together. Always good for an entertaining soundbite, Bannon referred to the media as the opposition party and said “they’re corporatist, globalist media that are adamantly opposed to an economic nationalist agenda.”
Reporters from virtually all of the nation’s mainstream media outlets sat in the back area cordoned off for press. Priebus countered rumors that he and Bannon are rivals competing for influence in the White House. Thursday was the day of appetizers, but everyone is really excited for Trump.
The big talk among the thousands of attendees, many of them college students, is the presidents much-anticipated appearance on Friday. Trump has spoken at CPAC many times, but only as a sort of entertainment figure.
Now he’s the leader of the free world. “It’s very exciting to see a president, right here,” said a college junior from Nebraska. A Florida woman who hasn’t missed a CPAC in six years, predicts she won’t sleep tonight. “I thank God he won the election,” she said. “Can you imagine what would become of our country if he didn’t.” A similar feeling of enthusiasm filled the conference.
When Trump took stage the crowd was incredibly enthusiastic, and why shouldn’t they be excited.
See the speech below.
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