On Friday, GOP front-runner Donald Trump announced at the last minute that he would not attend the annual CPAC convention as originally planned, and instead intends to attend a major rally in Kansas Saturday prior to the state’s caucuses, Politico reported.
The Trump campaign released a statement to reporters announcing that it would be in “Witchita, Kanasas [sic] for a major rally on Saturday prior to Caucus.”
“He will also be speaking at the Kansas Caucus and then departing for Orlando, Florida and a crowd of approximately 20,000 people or more,” the campaign said. “Because of this, he will not be able to speak at CPAC as he has done for many consecutive years.”
“Mr. Trump would like to thank [American Conservative Union Chairman] Matt Schlapp and all of the executives at CPAC and looks forward to returning to next year, hopefully as President of the United States,” the statement continued.
He had been scheduled to speak at 8:30 a.m. Saturday morning.
CPAC clearly seemed disappointed:
— CPAC 2019 (@CPAC) March 4, 2016
And before you ask, yes, the misspelled words were actually in the Trump statement:
Trump statement on not coming to CPAC pic.twitter.com/dsKwX0ddlr
— Ben Jacobs (@Bencjacobs) March 4, 2016
But why? Here’s one possible reason:
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) March 4, 2016
Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., who earlier said he would find a third option if Trump becomes the nominee, tweeted:
PREDICTION: not the last time @realdonaldtrump will abandon conservatives
MT"Trump drops out of #CPAC
sends clear message to conservatives"
— Ben Sasse (@BenSasse) March 4, 2016
Erick Erickson was even more blunt:
So was Brad Thor:
— Brad Thor (@BradThor) March 4, 2016
Writing at Townhall, Guy Benson said Trump was motivated by “vanity” and “fear.”
“Let’s face it,” he wrote. “A man of Trump’s inflated, fragile ego does not handle slights well. Having just defended the size of his dainty hands (and, surreally, his man-parts) from the debate stage unprompted, it seems likely that the controversial mogul couldn’t stomach the prospect of getting heavily booed in a half-empty room (due in part to early start time and long security lines) tomorrow morning. Instead, a hasty decision was made to pull the plug.”
The poorly-spelled press release is proof of that hasty decision, Benson argued.
“We’re here to walkout on Donald Trump on Saturday morning,” he told BizPac Review. “We’ve got over 1,000 people gonna get up and we’re gonna all walkout together.”
He said people from all over the country have come to participate in the protest.
“We’re walking out on Trump because he’s not Ted Cruz,” he said.
But the post at Gateway Pundit left out this very import nugget from the BizPac Review article, which came right after the statement above:
However, Temple did say that he would vote for Trump if he is the Republican nominee, but he’d “Have to hold my nose when I do it. Just like I did for Romney and just like I did for McCain.”
Benson said that Trump’s decision to drop the conference to spend time with voters in Kansas isn’t an irrational one. But, he added, “…it solidifies fears among many conservatives that he’ll simply dump them when he no longer needs them, it disappoints his hundreds of followers who spent good money to see him at CPAC (although he’s demonstrated precious little compunction over thoughtlessly betraying people who trust him), and it reeks of an ego move, rather than a tactical allocation of campaign resources and time.”
What say you? Did Trump make the right move, or did he act out of vanity and fear? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
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