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At CPAC, Hawley tells crowd: 'You’re not gonna back down, you’re not going anywhere'

The Missouri senator urged the crowd to fight against the "oligarchs" of Big Tech.

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Sen. Josh Hawley, Feb. 23
Sen. Josh Hawley, Feb. 23
(Pool/Getty)
Updated: February 26, 2021 - 4:43pm

Missouri GOP Sen. Josh Hawley on Friday urged the attendees of the Conservative Political Action Conference to refuse to yield ground in the face of liberal pressure, citing his own experience in that regard and telling the crowd: "You're not gonna back down."

Claiming that the "radical left [and] their corporate allies" have tried to "cancel me, censor me, expel me, shut me down, stop me from representing the people of Missouri, [and] stop me from representing you," Hawley said: "I'm here today, I'm not going anywhere, and I'm not backing down."

"And neither are you, am I right?" he told the crowd to wild applause. "You're not gonna back down. You're not going anywhere."

Hawley argued that the country is "facing an unprecedented alliance of radical liberals and the biggest, most powerful corporations in the history of the world."

He cited Google, Facebook and Twitter, companies that have lately made major moves to censor conservative voices on their platforms. The senator accused those corporations of pursuing "oligarchy" in the U.S.

"They're going to keep on doing it, unless we do something about it," Hawley said of those firms, claiming that he would "break up" the Big Tech companies in an effort to disperse their power. 

He is among several possible 2024 presidential candidates at the annual event looking to appeal to the GOP's conservative base. Others include fellow GOP Sens. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Ted Cruz of Texas.

CPAC's theme this year is "America Uncensored," a nod to what Hawley and many conservatives argue is the increasingly bold efforts of social media companies to censor and ban conservative voices. 

The conference is taking in Orlando, Fla. The state's governor, Ron DeSantis, spoke at the event earlier on Friday.

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