ORLANDO, Fla. (CN) — Former President Donald Trump headlined the final day of the 2021 Conservative Political Action Conference Sunday, slamming President Joe Biden and falsely telling attendees the election he lost was “rigged” during his first major post-presidency speech.
Over an hour after he was scheduled to appear at CPAC in Orlando, Trump walked on stage to “I’m Proud to be an American” and asked a crowd of Republicans sporting red hats “Do you miss me yet?”
The ex-president’s address during the annual conservative convention was reminiscent of many campaign rallies in which he highlighted perceived achievements of his presidency and bashed Democratic rivals.
“I'm going to continue to fight right by your side,” Trump said before clarifying that he does not intend to start his own party as some have posited.
He devoted much of his 90-minute speech to attacking Biden’s swift overhaul of Trump-era policies and actions, including Biden’s re-entering the World Health Organization, canceling the Keystone XL pipeline and upending some of the Trump administration’s immigration policies.
The speaker also called on Biden to immediately reopen schools for in-person instruction and touted his own administration's "Operation Warp Speed," which provided government funding for the development of Covid-19 vaccines.
“I stand before you today to declare that the incredible journey we began together four years ago is far from over,” he said. “We are gathered this afternoon to talk about the future — the future of our movement, the future of our party, and the future of our beloved country.”
The speech devolved, however, into adamantly repeating the lie that the Republican had actually won the 2020 election, and that "this election was rigged."
“The Supreme Court didn’t have the guts or courage to do the right thing,” he said in reference to the court’s decision to reject his election challenges.
Thanks to loyal Senate Republicans, the ousted president survived a second impeachment this year over his actions surrounding the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, and much of that trial had centered around his spreading this same lie.
Trump made sure to condemn each of the Republicans who had voted to find him guilty of inciting the insurrection, including Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney and Utah Senator Mitt Romney, stating “get rid of them all.”
Trump’s talk followed a CPAC straw poll in which 55% of respondents said they would vote for him in a 2024 primary. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis received 21% followed by South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem with 4%.
Of those poll participants, 95% said they would like the Republican Party to continue with Trump’s agenda and policies and 68% said they would like to see Trump run again.
"Who knows, I may even decide to beat them for a third time," he said of Democrats, suggesting that he might run again in 2024.
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