Despite the emerging field of Republican presidential candidates willing to take on former President Donald Trump, this year’s CPAC was more unabashedly MAGA than ever.
At the multi-day conference held just outside Washington, D.C., there were few signs the crowd wanted anyone but Trump in 2024. Many attendees wore coordinated T-R-U-M-P t-shirts. Vendors sold Trump bobbleheads and stuffed animals wearing MAGA hats. Guests posed for pictures in a mock Trump Oval Office.
The annual CPAC confab showcases stars in the conservative movement, prominent Republican lawmakers, the up-and-coming of the GOP and grassroots activists eager to hear about the latest priorities on the right.
But now CPAC has become the Trump show, and few Republicans here tried to diminish Trump’s star. Many potential 2024 candidates skipped the weekend entirely.
Introduced as “the next president of the United States,” Trump dished red meat to an adoring audience that leapt to their feet when he walked out on the main stage.
“We will finish what we started,” Trump told the audience. “We will cross the finish line. We will dismantle the Deep State. We will demolish woke tyranny and we will restore the American republic to all its radiant glory.”