Trump delivers aggressive speech to rouse supporters on the right

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Trump delivers aggressive speech to rouse supporters on the right

He complained often of getting ‘no credit’ for his achievements as he proudly drifted “off script” at the Conservative Political Action Conference.


President Donald Trump hugs the American flag (Jose Luis Magana/AP)
President Donald Trump hugs the American flag (Jose Luis Magana/AP)

President Donald Trump denounced Democrats as the party of “the socialist nightmare” and attacked several other groups in a speech that earned adoration of cheering conservatives.

After a trying week that saw setbacks in his meeting in Vietnam, President Trump delivered rousing speech that extended beyond two hours.

The president let loose against House Democrats, who are broadening their investigations of him, predicted he would win re-election by a greater margin than his 2016 victory, and taunted his potential White House challengers.

He complained often of getting “no credit” for his achievements as he proudly drifted “off script” at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

His remarks capped a week that saw his nuclear summit with North Korea’s leader collapse without an agreement, his former lawyer deliver damaging congressional testimony about his character and business practices and Congress take action to nullify his emergency declaration to secure money for the border wall that lawmakers have denied him.

It took him more than an hour to get to the message that Republicans and members of his administration have been emphasising in recent weeks as they try to brand Democratic policy ideas as socialism.

“America will never be a socialist country,” he said. “Socialism is not about the environment, it’s not about justice, it’s not about virtue.”

He said it is about “power for the ruling class”.

For every prepared line like that, there were multiple improvisations from a president on policy and personality.

“That’s how I got elected — by being off script,” President Trump said early in his speech as the crowd roared its approval.

He took particular delight in going after the Democrats’ Green New Deal, brought forward by some liberal Democrats in Congress and backed to varying degrees by several of the party’s 2020 presidential candidates.

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“I think the New Green Deal or whatever the hell they call it — the Green New Deal — I encourage it,” President Trump said mockingly as he wound up for a round of exaggeration.

“I think it’s really something that they should promote. They should work hard on it. … No planes, no energy. When the wind stops blowing that’s the end of your electric. Let’s hurry up. Darling, is the wind blowing today? I’d like to watch television, darling.”

He returned to the topic again and again, and jokingly kicked himself for doing so, saying it would give the Democrats time to back away from it.

He also turned the topic into an attack on Sen Elizabeth Warren, one of the top Democratic contenders for president.

“I’m going to regret this. This speech should have been delivered one year from now, not now, damn it.” President Trump said.

“I should have saved the Pocahontas thing for another year because that destroyed her political career and now I won’t get a chance to run against her. I don’t want to knock out all of the good stuff and wind up with somebody who’s actually got talent.”

President Trump also went after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, essentially accusing him of being a drag on the economy.

“We have a gentleman that likes raising interest rates in the Fed. We have a gentleman that loves quantitative tightening in the Fed. We have a gentleman that likes a very strong dollar in the Fed,” President Trump said. “…With all of that, we’re doing great. Can you imagine if we left interest rates where they were?”

The president defended his declaration of a national emergency to obtain wall funding beyond the 1.4 billion US dollars that Congress approved for border security.

He said the order does not set a bad precedent for future administrations because Democrats are “going to do that anyway, folks. The best way to stop that is to make sure I win the election”.

Press Association

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