President Trump served up red meat to his base on Friday with a rousing speech that repeatedly brought the crowd to its feet at the annual Conservative Action Political Conference.
Trump drew cheers and chants of “USA! USA!” as he re-hashed patriotic themes from his campaign stump speeches and seasoned them with elements of his inaugural address while speaking for nearly 50 minutes in National Harbor, Md.
“Our victory was a victory and a win for conservative values and our victory was a win for everyone who believes it’s time for everyone to stand up for America, America’s workers and the American flag,” he said.
Trump got his first standing ovation as he emerged to rapturous applause and the tune of “God Bless the USA” and its refrain of “I’m proud to be an American.”
“I wouldn’t miss a chance to talk to my friends,” he told his audience.
Trump repeated a long list of familiar pledges, including rebuilding the military “bigger and better than ever before,” fixing “broken and embarrassing trade deals,” restoring jobs for coal miners and others, and building a wall along the Mexican border — which he said was “way, way, way ahead of schedule.”
The president said he’d asked the Defense Department “to develop a plan to totally obliterate ISIS” and vowed “brand-new action” to increase security and proect Americans.
“So let me state this as clearly as I can: We are going to keep radical Islamic terrorists the hell out of our country,” he said.
Trump also touted his withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade deal and his temporary ban on refugees and travelers from seven mostly Muslim countries, which is being re-worked due to defeats in court.
“One by one, we’re checking off the promises we made the American people — one by one,” he said.
“And we will not stop until we’re done.”
Trump kicked off his speech by bashing the media for about 12 minutes, doubling down on his recent assertion that certain mainstream news organizations were “the enemy of the American people.”
“I’m against the people who make up stories and make up sources,” he said.
“They shouldn’t be allowed to use sources unless they use their name.”
The speech was briefly interrupted when a protester began shouting and was given the boot as the crowd chanted “USA! USA!”
At another point, staffers were seen confiscating small Russian flags emblazoned with the word “Trump,” according to a report on Twitter.
Trump’s appearance was the highlight of the American Conservative Union’s four-day conclave, and marked the first by a president during his first year in office since then-President Ronald Reagan in 1981.
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