Trump unleashes his 2.0, vowing to crush Biden, bureaucrats and Beijing and pay 'baby bonuses'
In 103-minute speech at CPAC, Trump laid a detailed foundation for a second term that ranged from revoking China's trade privilege to creating next-generation cities.
Firmly atop the conservative world with another commanding straw poll victory, former President Donald Trump is laying out a detailed vision for a second term that puts Joe Biden, federal bureaucrats and Beijing on notice while courting parents with promises to pay them "baby bonuses" and protect their children from creeping leftist ideology in schools.
America's 45th president got a raucous reception Saturday evening while delivering the keynote of the Conservative Political Action Conference, pledging that if elected the nation's 47th president to replace Joe Biden he would address the grievances of Americans who fear freedoms have been eroded, justice has been corrupted and schoolchildren have been endangered by critical race theory and transgenderism.
"In 2016, I declared I am your voice. Today I add I am your warrior. I am your justice. And for those who have been wronged and betrayed, I am your retribution," Trump declared to cheers.
He also suggested the 2024 election was a political apocalypse of sorts for America. "This is the final battle," he said. "They know it. I know it. You know it. Everybody knows that this is it. Either they win, or we win. And if they win, we no longer have a country."
In a speech that stretched 103 minutes, Trump laid out a sweeping vision that promised he could end Russia's war against Ukraine even before he took office, punish China for COVID and build as many as 10 futuristic "freedom cities" while protecting seniors from Medicare and Social Security cuts and rewarding parents who have more children.
"We will support baby boomers, and we will support baby bonuses for a new baby boom, how does that sound?" he asked before teasing the males in the audience. "I want a baby boom. You men are so lucky out there. You are so lucky, men."
Though dogged by countless investigations and civil suits, Trump has maintained his grip on the base of his party. He affirmed that control Saturday evening by handily winning the CPAC Real America's Voice straw poll, capturing 62% of support while his nearest rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, got just 20%. Trump went up, while DeSantis declined from a year ago.
Former TV journalist and Arizona GOP candidate Kari Lake topped the list for preferred running mates.
Trump vowed to eradicate the final vestiges of earlier neo-conservative influence inside the Republican Party, singling out establishment figures of the past like Jeb Bush, Karl Rove and Paul Ryan while declaring he would "expel the warmongers" and "drive out the globalists" if elected in 2024.
"The Republican Party was ruled by freaks, neocons, open border zealots and fools. … We're never going back," he said. "... We are never going back to a party that wants to give unlimited money to fight foreign endless wars but demands we cut veteran benefits and retirement benefits at home.
"I am the only candidate who can make this promise: I will prevent World War Three."
Trump also embraced anew his image as a Washington outsider, vowing to end political dynasties in the nation's capital.
"We will evict Joe Biden from the White House," he said. "We are never going to be a country ruled by entrenched political dynasties in both parties, rotten special interests, China-loving politicians, of which there are many. You listening to this Mitch McConnell?"
Throughout the speech, Trump gave detailed prescriptions for everything from the economy to border security. Here are some of the highlights.
Beating Ron DeSantis
Trump never mentioned the Florida governor by name, but he subtly and repeatedly signaled how he intends to attack him as a stooge of old-guard Republicans who is untested on the world stage.
"At the end of the day, anyone else will be intimidated, bought off, blackmailed or ripped to shreds," Trump said in one veiled line attacking DeSantis.
He also signaled as he has for weeks he intends to remind voters of DeSantis' prior advocacy for changing Medicare and Social Security to save money.
"We are never going back to the people that want to destroy our great social security system … even some in our own party," he said. "I wonder who that might be."
Trump also left room for DeSantis to join the ticket in an earlier Q&A session with reporters.
"I've always had a good relationship with him," Trump said when asked by NBC News if he'd consider DeSantis as his running mate for vice president. "But it's much too early to talk about."
Putting Parents First
Trump's loudest applause lines came when he vowed to put parents first, saying he supported measures that would further school choice, impose a patriotic education curriculum and allow parents to popularly choose and remove school principals through elections.
"If any principal is not getting the job done, the parents should be able to vote to fire them and select someone who will," he said.
He also vowed to outlaw childhood transgender practices, including hormone therapy and anatomy-changing surgeries like mastectomies.
"I will revoke every Biden policy promoting the chemical castration and sexual mutilation of our youth, and ask Congress to send me a bill prohibiting child sexual mutilation in all 50 states," Trump said.
Staying on the education agenda, he also promised to keep biological males out of female locker rooms and bathrooms and to "keep men out of women's sports."
The tax incentive for parents who have babies also was new to his agenda.
The former president unequivocally vowed to force China to pay reparations for the spread of COVID, just a few short days after public confirmation that both the FBI and Energy Department had concluded the virus emanated from a lab leak in Wuhan.
He also pledged to China-proof the American supply chain and reverse Beijing's permanent trade privileges, returning to a pre-21st century position of forcing China to earn them each year.
"I will revoke China's most favored nations trade status," he said. "I will have a four-year plan to phase out all Chinese imports of essential goods and gain total independence from China. We have to do it. We have to do it."
Likewise, Trump vowed to decouple America's public health system from the World Health Organization, saying it was a tool of China and that WHO should be renamed as "We Hide Outbreaks."
Trump acknowledged he is much more attuned to the negative forces of a massive federal bureaucracy, vowing to slash it in size, cost and its ability to weaponize federal resources for political purposes.
"I will totally obliterate the 'Deep State,'" he vowed. "I will fire the unelected bureaucrats and shadow forces who have weaponized our justice system like it has never been weaponized before. And I will put the people back in charge of this country again."
Trump doubled down on a promise he first made in an interview with Just the News two weeks ago, saying he will now embrace early and absentee voting to eliminate Democrats' advantage in 2024
"Republicans must compete using every lawful means to win," he said. "That means swamping the left with mail-in votes, early votes, and Election Day votes, have to do it. We have to change our thinking because some bad things happened.
He vowed, though, that if Republicans win in 2024 he would launch a campaign to return to one-day voting with paper ballots, a system that would renew reserve mail-in ballots only for soldiers and elderly infirm.
"I will move heaven and Earth to finally secure our elections," he said. "All Republican governors should immediately go for paper ballots, one day voting and voter ID."
Renewing America's Cities
Trump sought to address urban Americans weary from the blight of poorly managed cities overrun by crime, homelessness, fentanyl poisoning, and economic and scenic blight.
His prescription called for a federal response to blue cities failing to fight crime, deporting violent MS-13 gang members and creating tent cities for homeless, drug addicted, and "severely deranged" people so they can get off the streets and get the treatments they need.
"I will ask every state and federal agency to identify every known or suspected gang member in America," he vowed, "and every one of them that is here illegally, we will pick them up, and we will throw them out of our country, and there will be no questions asked."
Trump also touted his plan to build 10 futuristic freedom cities on unused land in America to create a modern American urban renewal.
Border and Drug Cartels
Trump nodded to the pain of parents, some in the crowd, who lost children to fentanyl poisoning, vowing to end the scourge by securing the border with a wall and other technologies and treating drug cartels like terrorist organizations.
"To stop the flow of deadly drugs, it will be my policy to take down the cartels just as I took down the ISIS caliphate that everybody said was impossible to do," he said.
Reasserting Federal Control Over the District of Columbia
Trump related how as president he would fume to see garbage on the streets of the nation's capital and ordered federal officials to clean up what the city had failed to do.
He vowed if elected in 2024 to remove the capital city's autonomy.
"Frankly, the federal government should take over control and management of Washington, D.C.," Trump said, adding at one point, "I wouldn't even call the mayor."Washington, D.C. has long advocated for statehood, and currently Washington is run by an elected city council and a mayor, but can be overridden by Congress, as it was last week on a plan to allow noncitizens to vote in local elections.