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Without the bully pulpit or social media accounts, Trump had limited himself to just a few statements issued from his home at Florida - but now hints at a 2024 presidential run.

Source : PortMac.News | Globe :

Source : PortMac.News | Globe | News Story:

'Do you miss me yet?' - 'we love you' - The Don Strikes Back
Without the bully pulpit or social media accounts, Trump had limited himself to just a few statements issued from his home at Florida - but now hints at a 2024 presidential run.

News Story Summary:

But with the 2021 Conservative Political Action Conference in town, Trump stood live on a stage, in front of a crowd, for the first time since he spoke before the January 6 riots in Washington DC.

Trump didn't take long before winking at a run for the Republican nomination in 2024.

After a brief moment attacking the Biden administration, he said "the incredible journey we began together four years ago is far from over".

"Who knows, I may even decide to beat them for a third time," Trump said, repeating the falsehood that he won the 2020 election.

He did the same when closing the 90-minute speech.

"A Republican president will make a triumphant return to the White House. I wonder who that will be?" he asked the crowd, who, with their standing ovation, made it very clear who they would like it to be.

"Who, who, who will that be I wonder?"

We're no closer to learning if Trump wants to have another crack at the White House. And the ambiguity means countless column inches and and television minutes will be devoted to exploring the question over the next few years.

His smile when leaving the question open suggests that's just how the former president wants it for now.

But he's not going to start his own political party to do it

Trump was clear that he wasn't about break away from the Republican party to continue his political future.

"We're not starting new parties," he said.

"We have the Republican Party. It's going to unite and be stronger than ever before.

"I am not starting a new party."

The Wall Street Journal reported in late January that Trump had discussed starting a "Patriot Party".

However the former president's thought bubble didn't last long, with the New York Times reporting soon after that he had backed away from the idea.

A month away from the spotlight hasn't tempered his anger at losing the election

After skirting around it in his opening, the second hour of Trump's speech opened the floodgates on familiar false claims that he'd won the 2020 election.

Trump lost the election by more than 7 million votes, with Joe Biden winning the electoral college 306-232.

There was no new evidence of wrongdoing from Trump in the speech, but rather the same grievances and falsehoods that were repeated ad nauseum by the former president and his supporters in the days after the election.

At times the crowd chanted: "You won."

Democrats, some Republicans and extremism and disinformation experts say that rhetoric helped create the conditions that led to deadly January 6 riots on Capitol Hill.

Democrats aren't the only people he's targeting

A good chunk of Trump's speech was spent attacking the Biden administration, which the former president claimed had already been a "catastrophe" (Joe Biden has a job approval rating in the mid-50s, something Trump was not able to achieve in his four years in office).

But Republicans weren't spared his wrath either. As expected, the former president drew a line in the sand for the party he still holds in his grip.

One by one, Trump read out the names of elected Republicans who had voted against him in his second impeachment and labelled them RINOs — Republicans In Name Only.

And in an echo of his attacks on his former vice-president, Mike Pence, (who Trump said "didn't have the courage" to overturn the election), Trump lashed the US Supreme Court for repeatedly determining his claims of electoral fraud had no merit.

"They (SCOTUS) didn't have the guts to do what had to be done," he said.

Some of the loudest jeers from the crowd were reserved for Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who called Trump "practically and morally responsible for provoking" the January 6 riots.

After announcing that he'd now work to elect "strong, tough and smart" Republican leaders, Trump claimed the party is united.

"The only division is between a handful of Washington DC establishment political hacks and everybody else, all over the country," he said.

'Trumpism' isn't changing (even though it lost the election)

The former president claimed in his speech that he was hearing the term "Trumpism" more and more, then went on to define what he believed it stood for, starting with "great deals".

The rest of the definition was the same platform that won him election in 2016, but led to crushing losses in the 2018 midterms and lost the Republicans the White House and the Senate in 2020.

Even the soundtrack, which blared God Bless the USA as he walked on stage and YMCA when he finished, was the same as his 2020 election rallies.

There's a long, long time until the shape of the 2024 Republican primary begins to form.

But today Trump made clear that he wanted his vision, his rhetoric and his name at the centre of it one way or another.

Trump said he wanted Republican leaders "who are loyal to the voters who will work proudly for the vision that I laid out today".

"Does anybody get it?" he asked the crowd. Earlier they'd chanted "we love you".

Story By | Peter Marsh

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