Trump Pledges to 'Defeat Radical Left', Stop Cancel Culture in CPAC Speech
03:30 GMT 12.07.2021 (Updated: 18:26 GMT 03.11.2022)
© AP Photo / LM OteroFormer president Donald Trump raises his fist before speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Sunday, July 11, 2021, in Dallas.
© AP Photo / LM Otero
Since leaving the presidency in January, Trump has continued to have a major presence on the US political scene. Earlier this week, he launched a lawsuit against Big Tech over his removal from social media platforms. Overall, the GOP has grown closer to Trump, after some members distanced themselves from him following the January 6 Capitol mayhem.
Former President Donald Trump made a wide-ranging speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Sunday, including promises to counter and defeat the left-wing agenda, such as critical race theory and cancel culture.
Trump also lamented President Joe Biden's policies, as well as former members of his own administration, while complementing the conference's attendees for being "some of the staunchest and fiercest supporters" of "the greatest political movement in the history of our country."
After a half-hour delay from his scheduled start time, Trump's speech lasted nearly 90 minutes. As he stepped onto the stage, he was met with "USA" chants, and he praised the CPAC participants as ardent supporters of his cause.
"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 praised his accomplishments as president, particularly his strict immigration policies, and chastised Biden for his management of the border crisis.
"We deported criminal aliens by the thousands... and we built almost 500 miles of the border wall," Trump stated. "Now the Biden administration has turned the border into the single greatest disaster in American history."
© AP Photo / LM OteroFormer president Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Sunday, July 11, 2021, in Dallas.
Former president Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Sunday, July 11, 2021, in Dallas.
© AP Photo / LM Otero
Trump spoke shortly after the CPAC straw poll was released, in which he reportedly received 70% of the vote as the potential GOP presidential hopeful for the 2024 race.
Trump reaffirmed his accusations that the election was rigged, accusing US social media platforms and news outlets of ignoring and censoring claims of massive electoral fraud.
"You say election fraud, you get canceled," Trump said. "Unfortunately this was an election where the person that counts the vote was far more important than the candidate. It's a disgrace to our nation and we are truly being scorned and disrespected all over the world."
The former president also spoke about his lawsuit against Big Tech corporations for supposedly censoring conservatives on their platforms.
"They are hard at work to abolish the First Amendment as well," Trump stressed. "The radical left and big tech's attack on free speech is unlawful, it's unconstitutional and it is completely unamerican. To protect the Constitutional rights and liberties of every citizen this week I filed a major class action. A lot of people are joining."
Trump's words elicited a standing ovation in the room, according to Fox News.
Since in recent weeks, critical race theory has been a contentious topic that has been subjected to scrutiny at all levels, ranging from local education boards to governors' desks, Trump addressed it in his speech as well.
"Whoever thought we would be using that term," he said.
Apart from everything else, Trump also expressed his displeasure with the investigation into alleged collusion between his 2016 campaign and Russia, as well as the debate over Justice Brett Kavanaugh's nomination. On those themes, he singled out former Attorney General Bill Barr for special criticism.
"I'm very disappointed that Bill Barr was unable to hold anyone accountable for the countless abuses of power by the Democrats," Trump said. "He didn't hold the corrupt officials who spied on our campaign... not the authors of the phony dossier... not the women who slandered and lied and defamed Brett Kavanaugh... not any of the numerous criminal referrals for lying to Congress over and over again, not any of the illegal leakers."
© AP Photo / LM OteroA conservative supporter holds up a sign during the opening general session of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Friday, July 9, 2021, in Dallas.
A conservative supporter holds up a sign during the opening general session of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Friday, July 9, 2021, in Dallas.
© AP Photo / LM Otero
The ex-president spoke out about the alleged Supreme Court-packing by the Democrats as well. He suggested that the Democratic party seeks to intimidate the sitting judges.
"We're getting some unexpected rulings because the nine justices do not want to be packed. And the Democrats are in a position to pack the court and they don't want to be packed," Trump said.
Closer to the end of the speech, Trump, as usual, briefly hinted at a possible presidential run, despite saying earlier in the day that he had already decided whether or not to run.
In February, the former president spoke at the CPAC convention in Orlando, where he slammed President Joe Biden, Republicans who have not supported his cause, and hinted at a possible presidential bid in 2024, with the latter becoming a tradition in almost every public appearance.
Since the Orlando event, Trump has given numerous large public speeches, the most recent of which was in Florida where he stated that "in just five months the Biden administration has launched an all-out assault on everything we cherish and we value."
The US media previously reported that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has worked to smooth over tensions within the party and get Trump on board to help Republicans win the House in 2022. And the House GOP Conference jettisoned Representative Liz Cheney as their chairwoman over her denunciations of Trump's claims that the presidential election was rigged.