President Donald Trump didn’t “miss a chance to talk to [his friends]” on Feb. 24 as part of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland.
Here are five takeaways from his speech.
An unprecedented appearance
With his CPAC appearance, Trump is the first president since Ronald Reagan to address his constituents during his first year in office, according to a Washington Post article. He has only been in office for a little over a month.
The Press, or “Fake News”
“We are all fighting the fake news,” Trump said. He called them the “enemy of the people.”
He provided an anecdote for his point; he saw a story recently that said “nine people confirmed,” questioning if there really were nine people and their identities.
Trump was poking a Washington Post article that summarized the private discussions of Michael Flynn on U.S. sanctions with the Russian ambassador, contrary to those that Trump officials promised and understood.
“No White House official has disputed the accuracy of the article,” a Post fact-checking piece concluded.
“From a purely political standpoint, the best thing we could do is leave it, let it implode completely,” Trump said referring to Obamacare.
In two years, “the Democrats will come to us and beg for help…and it’s their problem. But it’s not the right thing to do for the American people,” Trump said.
Thus, in an effort to give Americans access to the “quality healthcare the need and deserve, we’re going to repeal and replace Obamacare,” Trump said.
As the audience yelled, “Build the wall! Build the wall!” Trump responded, “Oh, we’re going to build the wall, don’t worry about it. In fact, it’s going to start soon, way ahead of schedule.”
Some of his efforts to reduce crime, such as the wall and immigration reform, have led to deportations and upheaval.
“We’re getting bad people out of this country,” Trump said. “As we speak today, immigration officers are finding the gang members, the drug dealers, and the criminal aliens, and throwing them to hell out of our country,” he said.
For Trump, border control is also part of increasing the safety of America. “We fully understand that national security begins with border security,” Trump said.
Towards the end of his speech, Trump enforced equality. “We are all equal in the eyes of almighty God,” he said. Does that include immigrants?
Regulation is a broad topic that, in true conservative form, Trump hopes to get rid of.
He wants to lift restrictions on energy and “put miners back to work,” Trump said.
He wants to rid of regulations that are “crushing our economy…and our jobs,” Trump said.
That’s not to say that regulation disposal will come at the expense of safety.
“I want all the regulations we need, and I want them to be so strong, so tough,” Trump said. “But we don’t need 75 percent of the repetitive, horrible regulations,” that we do have, he said.
You can watch all of Trump’s CPAC speech here.