Politics - News Analysis

Trump Rages After People Mock Him for All the Empty Seats at His Low-Energy CPAC Speech

Former President Donald Trump went full brag mode Monday about his “packed” speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) after Chris Christie dissed the conference as being “half full” the day before, Newsweek reports.

Trump gave a speech Saturday at CPAC, a yearly gathering of prominent conservative figures. His speech comes while he’s seeking the Republican 2024 presidential nomination and the party continues to fracture. Polls show he’s popular within his party although numerous conservatives turned away from him when many of the candidates he endorsed during the midterm election wound up losing. This prompted questions about his popularity among voters in swing states.

Christie, a former Trump ally, is one among a tide of Republicans calling for the party to move on from Trump. Appearing on ABC News This Week, the former New Jersey governor took a swipe at the crowd size during Trump’s CPAC speech.

“You saw the scenes at CPAC. That room was half-full,” Christie said. “Let’s not pretend that CPAC is CPAC anymore. It’s TPAC. It’s Trump-PAC. It’s not CPAC any longer. Only the most desperate people showed up at CPAC to speak, other than Trump or people in Trump’s orbit.”

While Trump didn’t mention Christie by name, he defended the size of the audience during his speech in a Truth Social post Monday morning.

“CPAC was packed for my speech, you couldn’t get into the building. A special thanks to the area Fire Department for making it work so well,” he posted. “Great job!”

Trump continually boasts about the large crowds he draws, so the post above isn’t anything out of the ordinary for him. He held huge rallies during his 2016 and 2024 campaigns as well as for the candidates he endorsed during November’s midterms. This time around after announcing his 2024 presidential bid in November, he’s mostly opting for smaller speeches in early voting states like New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Christie suggested Trump may not be holding large rallies because he’s worried they may not “be nearly as big as they were” during 2016 and 2020.

As shown by the NY Times, the CPAC ballroom was already roped off due to low ticket sales. This was in addition to all the empty seats.

While Christie may be correct, there are still signs that suggest Trump remains popular among the GOP electorate. Polls generally report that he’s still popular within the party, although his ratings have slipped thanks to backlash from the midterm elections and his continual legal issues. Unfortunately, he is still widely viewed as the frontrunner.

And Trump is still posting on Truth Social about his crowd size. In the past week he has TWICE posted this article from the fake news site DC Enquirer, that says the speech was “filled to the brim” but provides no evidence proving that.

According to a Yahoo News/YouGov poll surveyed 444 registered voters from February 23 to February 27 and it found the former president leading all of his potential opponents, including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is widely considered his strongest possible opponent. Even so, he trailed Trump by eight points. DeSantis has not declared his plans to run for president although he widely expected to. The poll reports a margin of error of plus or minus 2.7 percent.

Hopefully, we won’t have another four years of Trump’s boastful lies, but who really knows at this point?

Twitter also had some fun:

meet the author

Nicole Hickman James is a lifelong Democrat and political activist who first cut her teeth as a teenager volunteering for Mike Dukakis’ presidential campaign. She has worked and volunteered for John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, HFA (Hillary For America), and Organizing For Action. She’s passionate about liberal and progressive causes and considers President Obama her favorite president ever. She holds her Bachelor’s from Boston College in Economics. When not working as a writer, she enjoys traveling and spending time with her three college-aged children.


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