Earlier today, we wondered whether Trump would actually reveal his political stances outside of finance and the economy in his afternoon speech at CPAC. It turns out, he did. At the very end of his remarks, which centered largely on jobs and America's financial struggles in the world market, he ran through a few positions: "Just very briefly: I'm pro-life, I'm against gun control, and I will fight to end Obamacare and replace it with something that makes sense for people in business and not bankrupt the country," he said. "If I decide to run I will not be raising taxes. We'll be taking in hundreds of billions of dollars from other countries that are screwing us, we'll be creating vast numbers of productive jobs, and we'll rebuild our country so that we can be proud." Trump assured the loudly-applauding audience that, if he runs, the country "will be great again." Yes, that "if" is still in there.
Trump said he'll decide to run in June, a delaying tactic that pretty much everyone predicted. He just appears to be having fun playing everyone along with this whole, "will he — won't he" thing for now. But his speech was a reminder of how much The Donald has bought into the narrative he's created for himself — either that or how much he thinks other people have bought into it. Proclaiming himself the victor in almost all of the battles he's ever entered (uhhhh....), he boasted: "I have fairly but intelligently earned many billions of dollars, which in many cases is both an account and a scorecard of my abilities."
"I'm known for my candor, I've had a lot of victories, and I'm willing to put that to work," he added. How? Well, mostly he talked about himself, but he did have a few foreign policy ideas. For one thing, he'd kick those Somali pirates' asses. "Give me one good admiral and a couple of ships, we'd blast them out of the water so fast," he vowed. He'd also get China to stop controlling its currency and raise taxes "on some of these countries that are taking advantage of the United States."
The line of the day that caused the far-right crowd to go nuts, though, was when Trump declared off-the-cuff: "And by the way, Ron Paul cannot get elected, I'm sorry." The audience roared in simultaneous approval and rage over the pronouncement against one of the major libertarian heroes. In general, the crowd seemed to approve of Trump's gregarious speech, read from a piece of paper and interjected with quips and ad-libs. He also got a good response for cheerily bashing Obama. "Our current president came out of nowhere. In fact, the people who went to school with him, they never saw him, they don't know who he is. It's crazy!" he said. "With no track record, and I will tell you, he's got nothing to criticize." And if there's one thing you can say about Donald Trump (and he said it many, many times today), he's got a track record.