CPAC Bashes Donald Trump After His Surpising Announcement
Although the Donald was expected to appear at the conference of conservatives, CPAC announced Donald Trump had dropped out at the last minute on Friday. The Conservative Political Action Conference (better known simply as CPAC) is currently taking place and was supposed to feature all of the remaining Republican presidential candidates as speakers. Trump was scheduled to speak on Saturday, the last day of CPAC.
Trump confirmed he had canceled his CPAC appearance. His campaign released a statement that Trump would be at a rally in Wichita, Kansas, on Saturday (the day Kansas votes). "Mr. Trump will also be speaking at the Kansas Caucus and then departing for Orlando, Florida to speak to a crowd of approximately 20,000 people or more. Because of this, he will not be able to speak at CPAC, as he has done for many consecutive years," the statement read.
However, others view Trump's decision not so much as a means to maximize his campaigning time but to avoid a crowd that may be quite hostile to him. The annual CPAC meeting is a hallmark event for Republicans — and Trump's cancellation makes, in his words, a "HUGE" statement about his feelings towards the party. CPAC revealed that the GOP front-runner had recently pulled out of his scheduled appearance with a tweet saying the conference was "very disappointed" that Trump "decided at the last minute to drop out," making it clear that the choice was his, not theirs. To further stress the implications of Trump's cancellation, CPAC added in its tweet that "his choice sends a clear message to conservatives."
Since Trump's decision to back out of CPAC was announced, many on Twitter have been quick to criticize the Donald and frame it as a red flag for conservative voters.
Trump's decision to drop out of CPAC isn't wholly surprising because the current leader in the race for the Republican presidential nomination has been locking horns with the party establishment. The latter have gone on a full-throttle anti-Trump crusade in recent weeks as he comes closer to winning the party's presidential nomination. Many prominent Republican leaders have not been shying about conveying their "anybody-but-Trump" attitude, as evidenced in Mitt Romney's speech Thursday at the University of Utah. The former Republican presidential nominee did not endorse any of the current candidates, but rather, devoted his speech to lambasting Trump as a "phony" and a "fraud." Romney plainly stated in his speech, "If we Republicans choose Donald Trump as our nominee, the prospects for a safe and prosperous future are greatly diminished."