Donald Trump CPAC speech: what the former president said about new party, Joe Biden – and will he run in 2024?
Mr Trump hasn’t shut the door on running for US president again in his first speech since leaving the White House - and being acquitted of impeachment charge
The conference, referred to as CPAC, was held in Orlando, Florida, and even featured a golden statue of Trump, just in case anyone was in any doubt who would steal the headlines.
And Trump didn’t disappoint as the one-time reality star addressed forming a new political party, his presidential successor and hinting at an election run in 2024.
What did Trump say about forming a new political party?
Ever since Trump lost the 2020 election, there has been speculation around him breaking away from the traditional Republican Party (GOP).
Two named groups - the Patriot Party and the MAGA Patriot Party National Committee - claimed to have started a joint fundraising agreement with Trump.
These claims were quashed by the former president’s office at the time and now it appears Trump has pinned his colours to the GOP mast for the foreseeable future.
He told the CPAC it was “fake news”, joking: “Wouldn't that be brilliant? Let's start a new party so we can divide our vote and never win.”
And added: “We have the Republican Party. It's going to unite and be stronger than ever before.”
What did Trump say about Joe Biden?
Trump could often be seen near the slogan ‘Make America Great Again’ (MAGA) or wearing a red cap with the same words emblazoned across it.
His patriotic rhetoric was a feature of his presidency and campaign and he didn’t miss this opportunity to have a swipe at the Democrat president Joe Biden.
Trump told the CPAC crowd, most of whom were not wearing masks despite the Covid pandemic, that US policy had gone from “America first to America last”.
He added: “We all knew that the Biden administration was going to be bad but none of us even imagined just how bad they would be and how far left they would go.”
“He talked about energy. I thought 'this guy, actually he's ok with energy'. He wasn't okay with energy - he wants windmills.”
What did Trump say about running for office in 2024?
Following Trump’s acquittal at his US Senate impeachment trial, Trump is free to run for office once more - with a 2024 in his sights.
“I stand before you today to declare that the incredible journey we began together - there's never been a journey so successful - we began it together four years ago and it is far from over,” he told the CPAC crowd.
And, touching on his as yet unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election, Trump added: “And who knows - who knows? I may even decide to beat them for a third time.”
Does Trump have the support of the Republican party?
The majority of the CPAC crowd was reportedly pro-Trump who warmed to the former commandor and chief’s presence and cheered every word.
Yet some of his relationships inside the GOP are seemingly strained - evident in seven Republican senators voting guilty at the impeachment trial despite his acquittal.
Trump has since launched a scathing personal attack on veteran politician Mitch McConnell, despite the senator voting to acquit the former president at the trial.
Republican senator Bill Cassidy said the CPAC was unrepresentative of the GOP.
“If we idolise one person, we will lose,” he told CNN shortly before Mr Trump's speech. “That's kind of clear from the last election.”