Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News
Former President Donald Trump did not declare all-out war on his opponents within the Republican Party, but he nonetheless spoke in fatalistic terms during his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Greater Washington, D.C.
“In 2016, I declared: I am your voice,” Trump said. “Today, I add: I am your warrior. I am your justice. And for those who have been wronged and betrayed: I am your retribution.”
Trump, whose speech marked the end of CPAC 2023, promised a decidedly pro-Trump audience that the party was “never going back to” the days when moderates, centrists, or left-of-center Republicans held sway.
“This is the final battle,” Trump said. He later added, “We’ll appropriately deal with the RINOs. We will never go back to the party of Paul Ryan, Karl Rove and Jeb Bush.”
The former president did not mention any of his current or potential Republican primary opponents by name, but made clear allusions to some.
“We are never going back to the people that want to destroy our great social security system … even some in our own party. I wonder who that might be,” Trump said in a clear reference to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who Trump has routinely accused of being anti-elderly.
Trump’s CPAC speech went for about two hours, which is at least quadruple the length of other talks and panels at the conference, and gave the former president ample time to address a series of issues currently at the forefront of his political life.
The former president spoke at length about his myriad of legal battles, most notably looming indictments at the state and federal levels.
He called both New York Attorney General Letitia James and Fulton County, Georgia, District Attorney Fani Willis, both of whom are African American, racist against whites and alleged their motivations in pursuing charges were rooted in the fact that Trump was tracking so well as a presidential candidate.
“Every time the polls get higher and higher, the prosecutors get crazier and crazier,” Trump said.
Already indicted on civil charges in New York, Trump has said he will continue to run for reelection even if, as expected, he faces a criminal indictment in Georgia or if the Justice Department opts to file charges against Trump in connection to the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot.
As he has done since 2016. Trump said all criticism, blowback, and legal challenges he faces are a result of his posing a threat to the ability of the establishment, what he has termed “the swamp,” to maintain control of everyday Americans.
“They’re not coming after me, they’re coming after you, and that’s why I’m standing here today. I’m standing before you because we’re going to finish what we started. We’re going to complete the mission,” Trump said.
In terms of his third run at the White House, Trump offered some insight into his strategy for defeating the left and, presumably, President Joe Biden in the general election.
Rather than fight against such measures as mail-in voting, Trump suggested Republicans “change our thinking” and “beat Democrats at their own game.”
“That means swamping the left with mail-in votes, early votes and Election Day votes,” he said.
Trump said such efforts were justified because, in his opinion, both the 2020 presidential election and multiple 2022 midterm races had been won on fraudulent terms by Democrats.