Former President Donald Trump Addresses CPAC, Suggests Third Run

First Time Speaking Publicly Since Leaving White House

Written By Jake Dabkowski, Co-News Editor

Former President Donald Trump suggested he would run for President once again in 2024 while addressing the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) 2021. During the speech, he continued to float his incorrect statement that he won the 2020 election.

“In 2024, we are going to make them lose the White House… I may even decide to beat them a third time,” Former President Trump said in his speech.

“He is running absolutely. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be the lead speaker at the GOP convention. Do you think that they just give that spot to anyone?” Owen Belfiore, a sophomore political science major from the College of Wooster, said. “He’s their front runner… he’s starting 2024 publicly right now.”

Former President Trump also denied rumors that he would be starting a third party and stated that he hopes to unite the Republican Party.

“I am not starting a new party, we have the Republican Party… I am not starting a new party, that was fake news,” President Trump said near the beginning of his speech.

“I think that Trump has got a pretty large cult following,” Mason Dowd, a sophomore acting major, said. “I wouldn’t even call it the Republican Party anymore.”

“The predicament that Mitch McConnell and the other Republicans are in is how do they move on from Trump without losing his base? I think the only way they will be able to do that is to create a candidate in the primary that can split the party enough to win the primary… I think that 2024 is the traditional conservative’s last stand,” Belfiore said. “But Trump can definitely win that primary, he has shown how powerful that base is.”

In his speech, Former President Trump attacked Republicans who supported the impeachment efforts against him following the Capitol riots, including Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey. Toomey is currently facing the possibility of censure from Pennsylvania Republicans, while President Trump is being confronted with multiple investigations into his taxes, possible abuses of power while in office and his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riots.

“The thing about it is that there’s a lot of stuff that happens between now and 2024. You knew he would run again, but what’s gonna happen with the situation in New York?” Professor Edward Meena said. “He’s facing investigations, so you gotta see how that plays out.”

It is uncertain if President Joe Biden will run again in 2024. During the campaign, he suggested that he would only seek one term, but since his inauguration he has stated that he will seek re-election. Should he not seek re-election, it is likely that Vice President Kamala Harris will be the Democratic nominee.

“As far as the national election is concerned, it’s all about if Biden runs again or is even alive. I don’t think Harris can win… She does a terrible job exciting the two sides of the Democratic Party. She won’t get older Biden independents, and I think she will struggle with the Bernie supporters as well,” said Belfiore. “But at the same time, I think that it’s fine to predict stuff for the midterms and the primaries, especially for the GOP because it’s grounded in ideology, not just statistics,” Belfiore said. “Whereas national elections tend to be more statistic-based and have a whole lot of unpredictable factors.”

“Having to watch [Trump] in debates again would be a nightmare scenario, but no, I don’t think he would win again,” Dowd said. “I’m pretty sure he’ll be dead by then.”

“If you didn’t like him, you should hope he runs again. How does he distance himself from January 6th?” Meena said. “I don’t think 70 million people would have voted for him if they had known that was gonna happen.”

During his speech, Former President Trump repeatedly made references to “Trumpism,” which is a term used to refer to the specific political philosophy that Former President Trump espouses.

“These are the principles that the Republican Party embodies and will continue to embody in the future,” Former President Trump said.

“I think that the scarier thing is not the chances of a Trump win, but more so, how will his continued rhetoric threaten American stability?” Belfiore said.

The 2024 Iowa Caucuses, the first vote in both the Republican and Democratic primaries, will be held Feb. 5, 2024.