Donald Trump invited to speak at CPAC. Is that a good idea?(Read article summary)
Donald Trump also spoke at CPAC in 2011, when he was toying with the idea of running for president. This year, CPAC has not extended invitations to GOP Govs. Chris Christie or Bob McDonnell.
David J. Phillip/AP/File
Donald Trump will speak at next week‚Äôs Conservative Political Action Conference. Organizers on Tuesday announced that they‚Äôd invited the mogul/reality-show host to reprise his 2011 CPAC appearance and that he‚Äôd accepted.
‚ÄúDonald Trump is an American patriot and success story with a massive following among small government conservatives,‚ÄĚ said American Conservative Union chairman Al Cardenas in a statement. ‚ÄúI look forward to welcoming him back to the CPAC stage.‚ÄĚ
Hmm. Is this really, you know, a good idea?
We can understand why The Donald himself would want to do it. It‚Äôs true that his 2011 speech produced loads of publicity. Of course, that‚Äôs back when he was toying with the idea of running for president himself, or at least pretending to think about a run for the Oval Office. Any attention this drew to ‚ÄúCelebrity Apprentice‚ÄĚ or the various Trump golf projects around the world was purely incidental, we‚Äôre sure.
And as a card-carrying member of the mainstream media (non-elite division), we‚Äôre overjoyed to link ‚ÄúTrump‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúpolitics‚ÄĚ in sentences once again. He produces controversy as easily as most humans exhale carbon dioxide. Who can forget his proposal to slap a 25 percent tariff on all Chinese goods? Certainly not US retail chains, which would have seen the prices of all their Chinese-made goods go up by the same amount. And remember when he kept challenging President Obama for his long-form birth certificate? And then Mr. Obama broke into the ‚ÄúCelebrity Apprentice‚ÄĚ time slot to announce that the United States had killed Osama bin Laden? That‚Äôs in the dictionary now as a usage example for ‚Äúkismet.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúCPAC is like an all-star game for conservatives,‚ÄĚ sniffed Mr. Cardenas to The Washington Post as an explanation for the move.
Now Mr. Trump? This has driven lots of Republicans in general and conservatives in particular over the edge. Conservative pundit Michelle Malkin ‚Äď who‚Äôs feuded with Trump in the past ‚Äď tweeted: ‚ÄúWomanizing, property-rights trampling, blowhard Donald Trump. Yep, there‚Äôs a face that‚Äôll ‚Äėmodernize‚Äô the conservative movement!‚ÄĚ
And conservative Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin wrote that conservatives of all stripes have ‚Äúlaunched an assault on CPAC‚ÄĚ over Trump, Governor Christie, and Governor McDonnell ‚Äď and what those choices say to the rest of America about where the right wing of US politics currently stands.
‚ÄúAn older generation, tone deaf and out of step with popular sensibilities, needs to hang it up. Had CPAC been in the hands of young, brainy conservatives, it would be the ‚Äėcool‚Äô club and not a punch line,‚ÄĚ Ms. Rubin writes in a post titled ‚Äú10 lessons from CPAC‚Äôs debacle.‚ÄĚ
Meanwhile, liberals are making fun of the Trump appearance, though the outrage on the right makes it harder for them to portray the pick as emblematic of the Republican Party. Maybe it‚Äôs a rare moment of Washington bipartisanship!
We‚Äôd like to add one thing in closing: Many of the critics here may have forgotten that when Trump went to CPAC in 2011, he was booed.
It‚Äôs true. During his speech, he noted the obvious point that Ron Paul would not win the GOP nomination and was not going to be president of the United States.
The CPAC crowd can skew libertarian, and the many Paul supporters in attendance didn‚Äôt like that. Hence the raspberries.
‚ÄúI like Ron Paul. I think he is a good guy, but honestly, he just has zero chance of getting elected,‚ÄĚ Trump concluded back then.