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Trump rallies the right in conservative conference speech

Washington, March 1 (IANS) US President Donald Trump rallied his most conservative voters in a speech that included making fun of opposition candidates, and as Democrats voted in the South Carolina primary.

Attendees at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in the National Harbor, Maryland on Saturday witnessed a speech very similar to last year regarding heightened patriotism, including a hug and kiss for the American flag, but with a more marked electoral tone, reports Efe news.

A few hours before the South Carolina Democratic primary polls closed, Trump predicted that the winner in that state would be former Vice President Joe Biden, as projections after poll closing indicated.

However, the President said he couldn’t imagine anyone “easier to beat” in the November election “than Joe – that guy can’t put two sentences together”, and inferred that the former Vice President makes too many mental slips due to his age to govern the country.

“Everyone knows (Biden) is not a communist. And with Bernie (Sanders) there’s a real question about that… The difference is Joe’s not going to be running the government,” he said.

“He’s just going to be sitting in a home some place.”

He also scoffed at former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg and the amount of money he has invested to win the Democratic primary.

Trump made fun of Bloomberg’s performance in the mid-month Democratic debate in Nevada by hiding behind the lectern, yelling “get me out off of this stage”, pretending Bloomberg was disgraced by his poor debate performance in the face of challenges by Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.

The President also resorted to his usual tactic of fearing the possibility that a Democrat will seize power in November, reiterating that the policies of the opposition party “would turn America very quickly into a large-scale Venezuela”.

“They (the Democrats) want to take away your money, take away your choice, take away your guns, take away your religion, take away your history, take away your future and take away, ultimately, your freedom. But we will never let them do that,” he said.

The rest of his speech was a repetition of his usual ideas, such as criticism of the sanctuary cities that protect undocumented migrants from deportation, or the insistence that “Mexico is paying for the wall”, even though the neighbouring country has not paid anything towards his project.

And he seemed to make an appeal to the section of the Republican Party that isn’t fond of some aspects of him: “Perhaps I’m not nice, but I’m doing a great job for you.”

“Ladies and gentlemen, the best is yet to come!” Trump cried before hugging the US flag, kissing it and mouthing “I love you, baby”, over and over.

Among the mostly white audience that attended the speech was the leader of the Spanish ultra-right party Vox, Santiago Abascal, and many young people, some of them students.

The T-shirt of a 32-year-old African-American man from Orlando, Florida, stood out in the crowd. On it, the black civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr wore a red cap with Trump’s famous phrase “Make America Great Again”.

Asked by Efe news why he likes Trump, his reply was: “the President is not scared and always returns the blow.”

–IANS

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