- The Washington Times
Sunday, March 5, 2023

NEWS AND OPINION:

Former President Donald Trump gave an epic speech — one hour and 45 minutes — on the closing night of the Conservative Political Action Conference. His audience remained enthusiastic and good-humored from start to finish Saturday; the event was more campaign rally than fireside talk.

The news media, of course, offered mixed, often jaunty commentary in the aftermath, Here are a few sample headlines from the last 48 hours:


“Vintage Trump speaks at CPAC, delivers a mixed bag” (RedState.com); “Trump ties a ribbon on the most MAGA CPAC yet” (Politico); “Trump trolls DeSantis in CPAC speech” (NBC News); “Trump takes victory lap at conservative conference” (The Washington Post); “Trump will stay in the race even if indicted” (ABC News); “Trump promises to continue presidential campaign if indicted, then delivers a snoozy CPAC speech” (Rolling Stone); and “Fact checking Trump’s speech at CPAC” (The New York Times); and “CPAC was a janky half-empty Trump convention” (New York magazine).

Mr. Trump, however, is moving full speed ahead and now appears to be shaping a sturdy campaign message for the 2024 presidential election.

“When I accepted the Republican nomination in 2016, I declared, ‘I am your voice.’ During my speech at CPAC, I added that ‘I am your warrior. I am your justice. And for those who have been wronged and betrayed, I am your retribution.’ 2024 is the final battle for America,” Mr. Trump said in a public message to his followers released on Sunday.

“Either they win, or we win. And I promise you this: If you put me back in the White House, their reign will be over, and America will be a free nation once again,” he said.

A POLLSTER’S ADVICE

Some have some advice for former President Donald Trump as he moves forward in his quest to retake the White House.

“Can a ‘Trump was Right’ slogan be a winning theme in 2024? Trump can gain voters’ trust by reminding them he was mostly correct,” advises an op-ed from the editorial board of Tippinsights, a news and opinion site affiliated with the TIPP Poll.

So what did he do right? The editorial had several examples.

“Not setting off a war during his years in office points to international relations and diplomacy that worked. So, in foreign affairs, was Trump right?” the editorial asked.

It also provided further proof that Mr. Trump proved his prowess in foreign affairs while in office, and made positive gains in the U.S. economy and bettered diplomatic relations in the Middle East — among other things.

“The Republican campaign hasn’t started - the first debate is months away - but Trump’s criticisms about the Ukraine war are already helping turn the tide. If Biden is the Democratic nominee in 2024, he will have a hard time painting the war and the state of the economy in a positive light. Trump could win in a rematch by reminding voters he was largely right,” the editorial concluded.

308 VACATION DAYS

Some close observers are still tracking the number of times President Biden heads for his home in Wilmington, Delaware, rather than staying at the White House and tending to presidential matters.

Yes, the president was in Delaware over the weekend.

“For Biden, it’s vacation first, the American people last,” Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a statement shared with Inside the Beltway.

And she has the numbers.

“Since taking office, Biden has spent 305 days — 40% of his presidency — on vacation,” stated a brief analysis of the situation that accompanied her statement.

The past weekend will represent Biden’s 306th, 307th, and 308th vacation days.

“Including this weekend, Biden has spent 55 of 110 weekends in Delaware since taking office. Overall, this is Biden’s 66th trip to Delaware since taking office,” the analysis said.

‘DON’T UNDERESTIMATE’

Here’s a brief moment in a conversation between Fox News Sunday anchor Shannon Bream and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, author of the new book “Never Give an Inch: Fighting for the America I Love.”

The exchange took place Sunday, with a portion of it centered on Russia President Vladimir Putin.

“You have been criticized for calling Vladimir Putin things like talented, savvy, elegantly sophisticated, not reckless, always does the math, and that you have enormous respect for him,” Ms. Bream said. “You know you’ve been criticized for that. Is there context to that? How do you explain those very flattering descriptions?”

Mr. Pompeo picked up the descriptions themselves from a knowledgeable source.

“Those are what I was taught at West Point. Always respect your adversary. Don’t call ISIS the JV, right? That’s what Barack Obama did,” Mr. Pompeo said.

He has a clear takeaway message.

“Don’t underestimate Vladimir Putin. That’s what the Biden administration did. That’s how we ended up not being able to deter him from attacking Ukraine. When you — when you think of your enemy as weak or dumb or not capable of executing things that can harm your country, you put American lives at risk,” he continued.

“And so, when I use those words, I was serious about them,” Mr. Pompeo advised.

POLL DU JOUR

• 20% of U.S. adults think the U.S. should “take the leading role” in world affairs; 22% of Republicans, 19% of independents and 19% of Democrats agree.

• 18% of women and 23% of men also agree.

• 45% overall think the U.S. should “take a major role” in world affairs; 39% of Republicans, 42% of independents and 56% of Democrats agree.

• 46% of women and 43% of men also agree.

• 27% overall think the U.S. should “take a minor role” in world affairs; 28% of Republicans, 29% of independents and 22% of Democrats agree.

• 29% of women and 26% of men also agree.

• 7% overall think the U.S. should “take no role” in world affairs; 10% of Republicans, 9% of independents and 3% of Democrats agree.

• 7% of women and 7% of men also agree.

SOURCE: A Gallup Poll of 1,008 U.S. adults conducted Feb. 1-23 and released Friday.

• Follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.

• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.


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