Donald Trump delivered his first major post-presidential speech on Sunday, an address to the Conservative Political Action Conference laden with falsehoods and attacks on his fellow Republicans — suggesting absolutely nothing has changed since he ceased being president on January 20.
I went through the speech and pulled out the lines you need to see. They’re below.
1. “Do you miss me yet? Do you miss me?”
At root, Trump wants to be loved. Forever. And away we go!
2. “I stand before you today to declare that the incredible journey we’ve begun together, we went through a journey like nobody else. There’s never been a journey like it.”
Never been a journey that incredible? Um, these two dogs and a cat would disagree.
3. “We’ve been doing a lot of winning.”
During Trump’s four years, Republicans lost the House majority, the Senate majority and the White House.
4. “We’re not starting new parties. You know, they kept saying, he’s going to start a brand new party. We have the Republican Party. It’s going to unite and be stronger than ever before. I am not starting a new party.”
Some news! Trump says he won’t start a Trump-centric third party! Of course, if you think he might not change his mind about that, well, you must have missed the last four years.
5. “Let’s start a new party and let’s divide our vote so that you can never win. No, we’re not interested in that.”
He’s right. A third party led by Trump would doom Republicans.
6. “Mr. McLaughlin just gave me numbers that nobody’s ever heard of before, more popular than anybody. That’s all of us. It’s all of us.”
OK, so Trump’s pollster — John McLaughlin — gave him numbers before coming on stage that said he was “more popular than anybody”? Like, in the universe?
7. “I came here and he was giving me 95%, 97%, 92%.”
97% what? Approval? Also, is it 92 or 97? Or 95?
8. “His campaign was all lies.“
Trump, ironically, is talking about Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign here.
9. “He wants windmills, the windmills … the windmills that don’t work when you need ’em.”
Trump has been consistent about very few things in his life. His hatred of windmills is one of them.
10. “We had built almost 500 miles of great border wall that helped us with these numbers because once it’s up — you know, they used to say, ‘A wall doesn’t work.'”
The total amount of new wall built on our southern border by Trump? About 80 miles, according to the BBC.
11. “It’s amazing, considering that the Democrats’ No. 1 priority was to make sure that the wall would never, ever get built, would never, ever happen, would never get financed. We got it financed.”
[narrator voice] Mexico didn’t pay for it.
12. “Covid-19, or as I call it, the China virus.”
The CPAC crowd cheered and applauded after this. Which tells you everything you need to know.
13. “Actually, as you know, they just lost the White House. But it’s one of those things.”
14. “But who knows? Who knows? I may even decide to beat them for a third time, OK? For a third time.”
Well, he didn’t beat “them” twice. Also, a Trump 2024 candidacy would be hard to stop for Republicans and a very likely general election loss.
15. “They are not giving us their best and their finest. Remember I said that. I said that a long time ago when I made the first remarks, when I came down the escalator with our great future first lady.”
Remember when Republicans insisted that Trump was disqualified after he said that Mexico was sending people “bringing drugs … bringing crime. They’re rapists”? Yeah, now he is touting that he was right.
16. “Who loves you as much as I love you?”
I’m the man who loves you — Donald Trump, basically
17. “We have to stand tall as the party for law-abiding Americans, and others, when they are in our country.”
“We love you. You are very special.” — Donald Trump to violent rioters who stormed the US Capitol on January 6.
18. “Some say it’s the greatest thing to happen in hundreds of years, hundreds of years. Two vaccines produced in record time with numerous others on the way, including the Johnson & Johnson vaccine that was approved just yesterday.”
Donald Trump is taking credit for the production of the Covid-19 vaccine. And, no, he is (still) not an epidemiologist or a virologist or, um, a medical doctor at all.
19. “What the Trump administration has done with vaccines has, in many respects, perhaps saved large portions of the world, not only our country but large portions of the world.”
Well, modesty has never been a Trump trait …
20. “Joe Biden is only implementing the plan that we put in place.”
Trump said his administration would distribute 40 million Covid-19 vaccines before he left office. He, um, didn’t do it.
21.”By the time I left that magnificent house at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, almost 20 million Americans had already been vaccinated.”
Except that he said 40 million would be vaccinated. And, as The Washington Post noted, Trump’s administration didn’t even deliver 20 million vaccines until January 7.
22. “Your Second Amendment is in far bigger trouble than you know. And for four years, I fought like hell to save your Second Amendment, and we saved it 100%.”
Biden has called for an end to the gun show loophole and a ban on assault weapons. Which does not suggest the 2nd Amendment is about to be abolished.
23. “I will tell you something and I said, had we had a fair election, the results would have been much different.”
There is zero evidence that the 2020 election was fraudulent or stolen. None.
24. “We went to CPAC, remember last, I said we are going to watch the President, well, Alice, the wind isn’t blowing, I don’t believe we’ll have any electricity. Remember we would — we would kid. But I wasn’t actually kidding. It’s such an expensive form of energy. It’s so bad for the environment. It kills the birds. It destroys the landscapes.”
He really, really hates windmills. Here’s why.
25. “We won the election twice. I mean, you know, think about it …”
I thought about it. Trump still lost to Biden in 2020.
26. “That’s why the party is growing so rapidly and is becoming a different party.”
“Spurred By The Capitol Riot, Thousands Of Republicans Drop Out Of GOP” — NPR, 2/1/2021
27. “Many people have asked what is ‘Trumpism’ … What it means is great deals, great trade deals, great ones, not deals where we give away everything, our jobs, our money, like the USMCA replacement of the horrible NAFTA. NAFTA was one of the worst deals ever made, probably the worst trade deal ever made. And we ended it.”
So, if I look up “Trumpism” in the dictionary, this then is the definition: “Great deals, great trade deals, great ones, not deals where we give away everything, our jobs, our money, like the USMCA replacement of the horrible NAFTA. NAFTA was one of the worst deals ever made, probably the worst trade deal ever made. And we ended it.” Er, OK?
28. “It means no riots in the streets. It means law enforcement.”
29. “On top of all that, we have even created the Space Force, the first new branch of the United States military in nearly 75 years.”
30. “The mission of the Democrat Party is to promote socialism.”
“I beat the socialist. That’s how I got elected. That’s how I got the nomination. Do I look like a socialist? Look at my career — my whole career. I am not a socialist.” — Joe Biden, September 2020.
31. “We started hearing ‘we love you’ and I asked somebody, you know, because we really liked Ronald Reagan, right? We had others. But I said, did anybody ever say that to Ronald Reagan or to any of our great? And to the best of all of these political professionals’ knowledge and pollsters, nobody has ever heard that chant before, Matt. So, it’s an honor.”
Trump is saying here that his are the first rallies where people yelled and chanted “I love you.” Yes, seriously.
32. “When you think about it, we love you, you are saying that about — I hate to say it. Am I a politician? I don’t know, maybe I’m a politician.”
33. “We believe in law and order. And we believe that the men and women of law enforcement are heroes who truly deserve our absolute support.”
Quick reminder: Trump told rioters who beat and taunted Capitol Police officers on January 6 that he loved them and that they were very special.
34. “We can never let this or other abuses of the 2020 election be repeated or happen again. Can never let that happen again.”
Again, zero evidence of any widespread fraud in the 2020 election. None.
35. “Republicans should be the party of honest elections that can give everyone confidence in the future of our country.”
“So look. All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have because we won the state.” — Donald Trump, in a January phone call with Georgia Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.
36. “This election was rigged. And the Supreme Court and other courts didn’t want to do anything about it.”
The Supreme Court, with a 6-3 conservative majority and three justices appointed by Trump? That one? Man, rigged!
37. “And the only people that should be allowed to vote by mail are people that can be proven to be either very sick or out of the country or military where they can’t do it. One day.”
Trump cast a ballot via mail in the 2020 election. And he was not “very sick or out of the country or military where they can’t do it.”
38. “You know, we have a little problem adjusting in Detroit. We seem to have more votes than we have people — a lot more votes, an election-changing number.”
39. “We’re not talking about a number where you — no, these are election-changing numbers. In Pennsylvania, they had hundreds of thousands of more votes than they had people voting.”
40. “We cannot have leaders who show more passion for condemning their fellow Americans than they have ever shown for standing up to Democrats, the media and the radicals who want to turn America into a socialist country.”
Wait, aren’t Democrats “fellow Americans” too?
41. “The Democrats don’t have grandstanders like Mitt Romney, little Ben Sasse, Richard Burr, Bill Cassidy, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Pat Toomey — and in the House, Tom Rice, South Carolina, Adam Kinzinger, Dan Newhouse, Anthony Gonzalez, that’s another beauty, Fred Upton, Jaime Herrera Beutler, Peter Meijer, John Katko, David Valadao, and of course, the warmonger, a person that loves seeing our troops fighting, Liz Cheney. How about that?”
Oh no, he’s not bitter. Just listing off all the Republicans who voted for his impeachment. All good! Water under the bridge!
42. “When you look at the crowds outside that want your seats so badly, they will take your seat in two seconds. They want your seat. Congratulations.”
Trump takes a pause from bashing Republicans to note that anyone who leaves in the audience is immediately replaced by someone else. Because he is so popular. I mean, this guy invented people yelling “I love you” at political rallies!
43. “[Mitch McConnell] asked for my endorsement — brought him from one point down to 20 points up. And he won his race in the great state — and, actually, the great Commonwealth of Kentucky.”
44. “Because of my efforts campaigning, we had huge gains in the House. And I helped keep many senators in their seats — and they will admit it — so that it’s now 50-50, instead of Republicans being down anywhere from eight to 10 seats.”
Worth noting: Republicans lost the House majority in 2018. And the Senate majority in 2020.
45. “I got more votes — I got more — and which is me — when I say ‘I,’ I’m talking about we. We — we got more votes than any incumbent, any incumbent president in the history of our country, almost 75 million votes.”
Trump got 74,222,960 votes. Which is a lot! But not as many as the 81,283,361 Biden got.
46. “Well, we won the second. We did much better. It’s, sort of, strange, right?”
[narrator voice] He didn’t.
47. “Thanks to my coattails, Democrats failed to flip a single state legislature — think of it — or a legislative chamber.”
Coattails are a thing that happens when you win. Trump did not win.
48. “When you talk about — they probably have them going because they also care about ratings, but when they talk about election, they turn off the cameras. You know why? It’s a very sore subject, OK? They don’t like that subject.”
So, if the media turn off their cameras when Trump talks about the 2020 election, how do we have so much footage of this speech? It’s a miracle!
49. “History will show that this was the moment when we could have given up, when we could have despaired, but instead, we chose to keep on pushing forward. The greater the challenge and tougher the task, the more determined we must be to pull through to triumph. We have to have triumph. We have to have victory.”
Certainly sounds like he isn’t going to quietly recede into the background…
50. “And then a Republican president will make a triumphant return to the White House. And I wonder who that will be. I wonder who that will be. Who, who, who will that be, I wonder?”
Yeah, this feels like a good place to end.