CPAC 2023: Bolsonaro hints at comeback

by mcardinal

Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News

Donald Trump appears to have been one of two former presidents who hoped to use the Conservative Political Action Conference as a means of fostering a return to power. 

Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, speaking for the first time since rioters in Brazil vandalized that nation’s most prominent governmental buildings in protest of Bolsonaro’s loss in last year’s presidential race, said he wanted a second chance to lead his nation. 

“In this moment I thank God for my second life and for the mission of being president of Brazil for one term,” Bolsonaro said. “But I feel deep inside this mission is not over.”

The CPAC crowd was quite receptive to Bolsonaro, who drew enthusiastic applause and cheers as he boasted of being a close ally with Trump and having been among the last world leaders to recognize President Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

It’s hard to ignore the parallels between Bolsonaro and Trump. Both men were elected on messages of conservatism and right-leaning populism, both question the legitimacy of their losses in recent elections, and both face potential criminal charges from their nation’s federal governments. 

Both men even live in Florida, although Bolsonaro is better described as temporarily residing in self-imposed exile in the Sunshine State. 

And now, both men are on the comeback trail. Trump is an officially declared candidate for 2024, while Bolsonaro told the CPAC crowd that he would fight to defeat current Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in the next election. 

“I come from a poor family, and I never expected to be president of Brazil,” Bolsonaro said. “But when I witnessed a communist be reelected in my country, I decided to face this challenge.”

Bolsonaro also delighted the CPAC crowd with a list of his conservative bonafides, including having instituted one of the least strict responses to COVID-19 on the planet. 

“I did not force anyone to be vaccinated in Brazil,” Bolsonaro said. “They kept saying, ‘Science, science, science,’ but what I say is, ‘Freedom, freedom, freedom.’”

He also restated his commitment to Pro-Life values and to the rule of law.