For the 3rd consecutive year, President Donald Trump visited the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, MD to speak to a crowd of over 10,000 people. The speech lasted over two hours, making it the longest of Trump’s entire presidency. President Trump spoke on a number of issues, and constantly injected his signature brand of humor in between more serious topics.
Trump spoke at length denouncing the investigation into his campaign’s alleged Russia-related improprieties, “But they fight so hard on this witch hunt, this phony deal that they put together; this phony thing that now looks like it’s dying. So they don’t have anything with Russia. There’s no collusion. So now they go and morph into, ‘Let’s inspect every deal he’s ever done. We’re going to go into his finances. We’re going to check his deals. We’re going to check. These people are sick. They’re sick.”
In one of the bigger surprises of the night, Trump then took aim at his former Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his behavior during the Robert Mueller investigation, “Now, Robert Mueller never received a vote, and neither did the person that appointed him. And as you know, the Attorney General says, ‘I’m going to recuse myself. I’m going to recuse.’ And I said, why the hell didn’t he tell me that before I put him in?”
The president delivered some of these lines in a mock southern accent, to the delight of the CPAC crowd. Trump then claimed that Robert Mueller’s friendship with “Lyin’ James Comey” has compromised Mueller’s ability to conduct a fair investigation.
In one of the more incendiary parts of the speech, Trump questioned the patriotism of Democrats in Congress, “They hate our country. It’s sad. It’s very sad. When I see some of the things being made, the statements being made, it’s very, very sad. Very, very — and find out, how did they do in their country? Just ask them, how did they do?”
This statement drew sharp criticism from many left-wing publications and politicians, and one Vox writer labeled it “an openly xenophobic rant about foreign-born legislators.”
Trump then began lambasting one of the most controversial pieces of proposed legislation in the country currently: the Green New Deal. The president declared, “The Green New Deal would completely abolish the American oil, natural gas, coal, and nuclear power industries, of which we’re now the leader in the world. We’re the biggest now in the world because of moves that I’ve made. Happened over the last two years, by the way.’
The Green New Deal, proposed by New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey, would radically alter America’s strategy in terms of dealing with the country’s energy and resources. The proposed legislation’s rollout was rocky, and the policy has faced opposition from politicians and pundits on the left and right.
In his closing remarks to the conservative crowd, Trump appealed to their love for America, “This magnificent nation will always be the home of those who cherish life, who love liberty, and who defend the sacred rights given to us by Almighty God. Together, we are one people, one family, and one nation, forever united behind one great American flag.
And two hours, 4 minutes, and over 16,000 words later, Trump had finished his speech. Left-wing commentators called the speech “unhinged” and “bizarre” while many on the right declared it a “virtuoso performance.” However, pundits on both sides of the aisle agreed on one thing: it was classic Donald Trump.