ORLANDO, Fla. — The first two days of the 2022 Conservative Political Action Conference are a field test for 2024 presidential candidates, with rumored hopes like Ron DeSantis, Kristi Noem and Mike Pompeo, each each presented their own vision of America — to an audience that seemed to just want to live in Trump.
Trump’s presence pervaded the convention even before he was scheduled to deliver a keynote address on Saturday night. Throughout the main hall of the conference, exhibitors prominently displayed Trump likenesses when selling their wares, including a large golden statue from former president hawking Patriot Mobile, “America’s only Christian conservative wireless carrier,” along with MAGA’s usual assortment of products including hand-stitched hammocks embroidered with Trump’s name and “45.”
However, that didn’t stop his supposed trainees from trying to use their roughly 20-minute time as an audition for the MAGA mantle.
Florida Governor DeSantis spoke at 1:30 p.m. PT Thursday, an unusual midday timing for a figure many see as a hypothetical lead should Trump choose not to run. His speech focused on his vision to replicate Florida at the national level, touting his policies on COVID-19 and education as a model to combat the “scientific and public elites.” turmeric”.
“If Florida wasn’t in the lead, this country might look like Canada or Australia,” DeSantis said to a standing ovation from a nearly full crowd. “The left does not want to respect our freedoms, and we have a responsibility to resist on all fronts. People come to Florida because they want freedom.”
DeSantis, who has announced only one re-election campaign to date, has trained his rhetorical fire on not one of Florida’s three Democratic candidates but President Joe Biden himself. According to the governor, Biden hates the Sunshine State, citing the president’s move to block FDA approval of two monoclonal antibody treatments, which DeSantis has heavily advertised in Florida even though it has been approved. proved ineffective against the Omicron variant COVID-19.
“He does things like take our medicine. He sniffed asking for victim relief just because he didn’t like the governor,” DeSantis said. “He doesn’t like Florida and he doesn’t like me because we’re on his side.”
Notably absent from DeSantis’ speech was any mention of Donald Trump, whose lovable look was featured on the costumes of many in attendance and on pieces of jewelry outside the gallery. .
Meanwhile, Trump’s former CIA director and Secretary of State Pompeo presented his outlook Friday morning, joking about his weight loss before plunging into a persuasion based largely on fanatics. right-wing culture wars, including some not-so-hidden misrepresentation. .
“We have seen governors not wearing masks but asking 3-year-olds to do so. We saw a man break swimming records in girls’ swim races,” Pompeo said. “We have seen a Russian dictator who is now terrorizing the Ukrainian people because the US has not shown the same determination that we did four years ago.”
Pompeo considers his experience as Trump’s last secretary of state as proof, seeing his tenure as a model for American leadership. He quotes his former boss just to refer to the Trump administration’s dealings with North Korea – referring to dictator Kim Jong Un in a colloquial “Chairman Kim” – and China, flashbacks about his long service, and declared that he and his wife “will stay in this fight.”
“I went from Tennessee to California — yes, even California,” he said to applause. “I’ve traveled across the country to meet candidates who have decided to give themselves back to their communities,” he says—something the potential candidate himself might say.
South Dakota Governor Noem appeared to do the same on Friday afternoon, using his position to reiterate his own Twitter missteps against Biden’s handling of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, against the ” destroy culture” and urged conservatives against the usual set of enemies: “Democrats and their allies in big tech, Hollywood and the media.”
“The American people are being raped,” she declared, later adding: “The question is how much pain are you willing to go through to be free?”
Unlike Pompeo and DeSantis, Noem mentioned Trump more than once: Once to tout misleading, conservative statements made by the media that Hillary Clinton was “stalking” her campaign; and again to assure the audience “we have some great fighters, like President Donald Trump. But he is not alone.”
It’s unclear if any potential candidates can overcome Trump’s grip on the party base regardless of their message. William Riggle, a 76-year-old rancher from Volusia County, Florida, just drove through the first day of CPAC to meet with DeSantis, whom he says he has supported since the governor’s congressional days. However, he is not sure he can withstand a potential fight between Trump and the governor of Florida in 2024.
“Donald Trump has done so much for this country and he has sacrificed so much,” Riggle said. “We are so lucky to have him. If you ask me is it a mess between the two, I really don’t have an answer for that. “
https://www.thedailybeast.com/2024-hopefuls-desantis-noem-and-pompeo-audition-at-cpac-yet-trump-reigns-supreme?source=articles&via=rss 2024 Hopefuls DeSantis, Noem and Pompeo Audition at CPAC, Yet Trump Reigns Supreme