Trump Says GOP Is United While Attacking Republican Leaders in CPAC Speech

President Donald Trump appeared at the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) to promote a theme of Republican Party unity under his leadership, but he ultimately tossed that tone to the side and aggressively tore into every GOP lawmaker who has criticized him since leaving office.

Trump's first major speech since leaving the White House blasted familiar targets including President Joe Biden, whom he described as senile, and warned of "socialist" Democratic policies taking over America. Trump also declared his opposition to starting a third political party and vowed to "continue to fight" alongside the GOP in the future. But Trump then turned his attention toward the "spineless establishment Republicans in Washington," whom he accused of failing to ensure an "honest election" last November.

"I think we have tremendous unity," Trump declared. But just moments before, he drew boisterous boos from the CPAC crowd as he listed off every Republican who had spoken critically of him over the past few months or who voted to impeach him.

Trump reads off the names of Republicans who voted to impeach and voted to convict including "warmonger" Liz Cheney. He says get rid of them all with the next election

— Acyn (@Acyn) February 28, 2021

"Get rid of them all," Trump demanded, he seethed with visibly pent-up contempt as he listed off the dissenting Republicans by name from the top of his head. "We need spines of steel, we need strong leadership."

"The Democrats don't have grandstanders like [Utah Senator] Mitt Romney, little [Nebraska Senator] Ben Sasse, [North Carolina's] Richard Burr, [Louisiana's] Bill Cassidy, [Maine Senator] Susan Collins, [Alaska Senator] Lisa Murkowski and [Pennsylvania Senator] Pat Toomey," he said with a sneer.

"And in the House, Tom Rice of South Carolina, Adam Kinzinger [of Illinois], Dan Newhouse [of Washington], Anthony Gonzalez [of Ohio], Fred Upton [of Michigan], Jaime Herrera-Beutler [of Washington], Peter Meijer [of Michigan], John Katko [of New York], David Valadao [of California] and of course the warmonger, a person that loves seeing our troops fighting, Liz Cheney [of Wyoming], how about that?"

"We need one election day," he continued. "Not 45 or 30. One day. And the Republicans don't get this and the other things I'm going to say, then you should be ashamed of yourselves. The Republicans better do something about it."

"This election was rigged and the Supreme Court and any other courts didn't want to do anything about it," Trump complained. Trump failed to mention that he appointed a record number of federal judges and SCOTUS nominees to the bench over the last four years.

Donald Trump Jr. blushed as he told Fox News on Sunday that his father's speech would show he is fully in control of the Republican Party. The former president offered CPAC attendees a definition of "Trumpism" during his speech, touting "strong borders" and "no riots" and "Judeo-Christian values."

Trump said the party's view of America is rooted in "love," drawing a "we love you" chant from the audience. Trump playfully cautioned the audience that technically they were declaring their love to a politician.

But Trump's ridicule of Biden's immigration policies and his calls of Republican Party unity gave way to internal strife about 45 minutes into his Sunday speech. Still banned from his notoriously critical Twitter account, the former president began attacking some of his more vocal dissenters within the GOP. Trump thanked himself for getting Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell re-elected even though the Kentucky Republican later gave a scathing floor speech denouncing Trump's actions in influencing the January 6 Capitol riots.

Trump took a brief swipe at Fox News anchor Chris Wallace early on in his speech before he changed subjects and touted his administration's efforts in getting COVID-19 vaccines developed over the past year. But then Trump returned to ridiculing some Republicans while simultaneously espousing unity.

"We're not starting new parties," Trump said, dismissing claims he'd pursue a 2024 nomination under a third party. "We have the Republican Party, it's going to unite and be stronger than ever before I am not starting a new party. That was fake news."

"Had we had a fair election the results would have been much different," Trump claimed, before later adding, "We won twice, you know."

Earlier in the day, Wallace asked Republican senator Rick Scott of Florida if Trump won the election fair and square. Scott replied, "Absolutely. Absolutely Joe Biden is the president. We went through the constitutional process. Joe Biden won the election."

One of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump last month, Illinois Congressman Adam Kinzinger, tweeted mockery of the former president's speech Sunday afternoon. "Trump lost the election FYI. Side note this speech is boring. We can't win the presidency with this boring, low energy, stream of conscience, weak, has been, choke artist. Just my .02."

Trump continued, saying Biden's campaign "was all lies. He wasn't OK with energy. He wants windmills. Joe Biden has had the most disastrous first month of any president ever, that's true."

The incredible journey we've begun together four years ago and it is far from being over," Trump told the raucous CPAC attendees, prompting chants of "USA."

Colorado GOP Congresswoman Lauren Boebert, who spoke at CPAC Saturday and who successfully campaigned on a vehemently pro-Trump platform, hyped the speech earlier on Sunday as the country's real "State of the Union address."

donald trump cpac speech 2021
Former President Donald Trump addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference on February 28, 2021 in Orlando, Florida. JOE RAEDLE / Staff/Getty Images

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