Related video: Mitt Romney predicts Trump will win if he seeks Republican nomination in 2024
The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) is underway in Orlando, Florida, with a gold statue of ousted president Donald Trump raising eyebrows ahead of his headline speech on Sunday, his first public engagement since leaving the White House for Mar-a-Lago a month ago.
Mr Trump is widely expected to announce a 2024 presidential run during his address to the four-day gathering – described as “Woodstock for election liars” by CNN anchor Anderson Cooper – a prospect dismissed by his White House successor Joe Biden, who has said he will not be paying attention.
This year’s event is themed “America Uncancelled” but one former Trump ally, ex-UN ambassador Nikki Haley, seems herself to have been cancelled by conservatives after being excluded from its confirmed speakers list. The Republican Party is currently mired in internal conflict following the US Capitol riot and Mr Trump’s second impeachment, with pro-Trump loyalists and establishment moderates locked in a feud that could determine its future.
Biden calls Saudi king ahead of intelligence officials releasing report on murder of Jamal Khashoggi
Of more general note to the world outside the fevered atmosphere of the Hyatt Regency, President Biden took his first call with King Salman on Thursday, snubbing the monarch’s all-powerful son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and raising human rights issues and the assassination of the Washington Post journalist at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018, a matter his predecesssor in the Oval Office expressed little interest in.
Joe Sommerlad26 February 2021 12:00
‘Donald Trump is the god-king of Crazy Town’
“Asking Conservative Political Action Conference attendees for their views on conservatism is like asking arsonists to lecture on fire safety,” says Michael Gerson in a scorching editorial for The Washington Post in which he argues there’s nothing “conservative” about the right-wing populism being touted at CPAC.
This, on the lessons the audience in Orlando are being presented with by the modern GOP, deserves to be heard:
“From the attendance of eager presidential hopefuls such as Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley, they will learn that exclusion, deception and the maximisation of white grievance are the future of the GOP, and that encouraging sedition is not a shameful disqualification for the Oval Office.
“From Trump’s deification they will learn that civility is for losers, that compassion is for suckers, that misogyny can be fun, that strength requires brutality and that racism makes for good politics. They will learn that deadly incompetence, based on lies and lunacy and costing countless lives, means nothing. They will learn that the Constitution can be shredded in the pursuit of raw power and that populism must be rowdy enough and transgressive enough to break a few windows and kill a few policemen.”
Joe Sommerlad26 February 2021 11:30
Fox’s Stuart Varney: ‘CPAC will determine the future of the Republican Party’
Here’s how the…