Trump calls on states to ‘punish’ big tech with sanctions if they ‘silence conservative voices’

ORLANDO, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 28: Former President Donald Trump addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference held in the Hyatt Regency on February 28, 2021 in Orlando, Florida. Begun in 1974, CPAC brings together conservative organizations, activists, and world leaders to discuss issues important to them. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
President Donald Trump addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference held in the Hyatt Regency on February 28, 2021 in Orlando, Florida.

  • During his CPAC speech, Donald Trump accused big tech of censorship.
  • He said section 230 should be repealed and that states should act if the federal government won’t.
  • Trump said states should sanction Twitter, Google, and Facebook if they “silence conservative voices.”
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

During his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Sunday, former President Donald Trump encouraged states to “punish” big tech if they “silence conservative voices.”

Trump spoke on the final day of CPAC in Orlando, Florida. It was his first public speech since leaving the White House last month.

“All of the election integrity measures in the world will mean nothing if we don’t have free speech,” Trump said. “If republicans can be censored for speaking the truth and calling out corruption, we will not have democracy and we will only have left-wing tyranny.”

Trump has frequently accused tech companies of censorship over his removal from both Facebook and Twitter for violating their policies.

“The time has come to break up big tech monopolies and restore fair competition,” Trump said, adding that section 230 – a piece of internet legislation passed into law as part of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 – must be repealed.

Section 230 gives websites the ability to regulate the content that appears on their platforms. It also protects sites from being legally liable for content shared by users.

“If the federal government refuses to act then every state in the union where we have the votes – which is a lot of them – big tech giants like Twitter, Google, and Facebook should be punished with major sanctions whenever they silence conservative voices,” Trump said.

Trump cited Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who announced new proposals earlier this month aimed at social media companies. One proposal aims to block the suspension of accounts of political candidates and would impose fines for each day said account is blocked.

It’s unclear if the state would have the authority to enforce such laws, the Associated Press reported.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Trump rants in CPAC speech that women’s sports ‘will die’ if trans athletes are allowed to compete

ORLANDO, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 28: Former President Donald Trump addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference held in the Hyatt Regency on February 28, 2021 in Orlando, Florida. Begun in 1974, CPAC brings together conservative organizations, activists, and world leaders to discuss issues important to them. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Former President Donald Trump addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference held in the Hyatt Regency on February 28, 2021 in Orlando, Florida.

  • During his speech at CPAC, Trump took aim at transgender athletes competing in women’s sports.
  • “If this does not change, women’s sports as we know it will die,” Trump said.
  • Many US states are weighing legislation that would restrict transgender youth from competing in sports. 
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

During his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Sunday, former President Donald Trump said women’s sports will “die” if trans athletes are allowed to compete.

“Joe Biden and the Democrats are even pushing policies that would destroy women sports,” Trump said, apparently in reference to the Equality Act, which seeks to expand protections for the LGBTQ community and was passed in the House last week.

“A lot of new records are being broken in women’s sports – hate to say that ladies – but got a lot of new records that are being shattered.”

While referring to weightlifting, Trump said “every ounce is like a big deal for many years,” as he pretended to lift an invisible bar. “All of a sudden somebody comes along and beats it by a hundred pounds,” he said.

Trump continued: “Young girls and women are incensed that they are now being forced to compete against those who are biological males. It’s not good for women. it’s not good for women’s sports which worked for so long and so hard to get to where they are.”

“What coach, as an example, wants to recruit a young woman to compete if her record can easily be broken by somebody who was born a man?” Trump asked.

He added, “If this does not change, women’s sports as we know it will die.”

Trump spoke during the final day of the conservative conference in Orlando, Florida, in his first public speech since leaving the White House last month.

Many US states are currently considering legislation that would restrict the participation of transgender youth in sports.

However, such bills could contradict an executive order signed by President Joe Biden on his first day in office that reversed Trump’s definition of gender as the one a person was assigned at birth.

Read the original article on Business Insider

From a golden statue to Trump hinting at a third presidential run, here are some striking moments from CPAC

ORLANDO, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 28: Former President Donald Trump addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference held in the Hyatt Regency on February 28, 2021 in Orlando, Florida. Begun in 1974, CPAC brings together conservative organizations, activists, and world leaders to discuss issues important to them. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Former President Donald Trump addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference held in the Hyatt Regency on February 28, 2021 in Orlando, Florida.

  • GOP lawmakers and supporters flocked to the Conservative Political Action Conference this weekend.
  • CPAC this year was marked by an allegiance to Trump and an expectation that he will remain influential.
  • Here are the most striking — and the weirdest — moments of the four-day event.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

GOP lawmakers and supporters convened for the annual Conservative Political Action Conference this weekend, where they praised former President Donald Trump, mocked masks, and promoted illegitimate claims of voter fraud.

Some, like Donald Trump Jr., used his stage power to rally the crowd against Big Tech and the mainstream media. Among his targets was Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, the third highest-ranking Republican in the House who voted to impeach Trump last month.

The conference, running from February 25 to 28, teemed with top GOP leaders from all over the United States, most of whom largely stood by the twice-impeached former president. 

CPAC marks Trump’s first public appearance since leaving office, as he was the headlining guest of the conference.

Here are some of the most striking moments of this year’s CPAC:

There was a golden statue of Trump.

Trump statue CPAC 2021
People take a picture with former President Donald Trump’s statue on display at CPAC.

Standing at more than 6 feet tall, the statue was unveiled late Thursday. It’s a golden structure resembling Trump, with a suit jacket, red tie American-flag shorts, and flip-flops.

Attendees posed with and took pictures of the statue.

The artist behind it, Tommy Zegan, said he spent six months making the statue in Mexico.

“He’s wearing a business suit because he’s a businessman. The red tie represents the Republican party, the red white and blue shorts represent the fact that he’s a patriot,” Zegan told the New York Post

Zegan said he hopes to sell it for more than $1 million or submit it to a Trump presidential library in the future.

And Trump merch for sale everywhere.

Trump merch at CPAC
Various items are seen on sale at the merchandise show at CPAC on Saturday.

Trump, despite leaving office more than a month ago with the inauguration of President Joe Biden, was a focal point of the GOP conference. 

Attendees came dressed in Trump gear, and speakers alluded to or explicitly referred to his hold on the Republican party. 

“Let me tell you right now, Donald J. Trump ain’t going anywhere,” Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said Friday to a crowd. 

Trump, for his part, has embraced the idea that he maintains a strong influence in the party. He’s floated several possibilities to remain relevant in politics, such as a potential 2024 presidential run and the formation of a political action committee. His support from top GOP lawmakers indicates that Trump, while out of office, still maintains deep influence in GOP politics. 

Gov. Kristi Noem defended coronavirus handling in South Dakota.

Kristi Noem at CPAC
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem.

Noem has frequently flouted coronavirus guidelines that have since become regular and expected in dozens of states across the country. 

On Saturday, she slammed Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading coronavirus expert, while defending her own policies that go against guidelines from health officials. 

“I don’t know if you agree with me, but Dr. Fauci is wrong a lot,” Noem said, receiving applause from the CPAC crowd.

For months, Noem has refused to issue a statewide mask mandate in South Dakota, even as the state earned a reputation as one of the 10 most dangerous when its COVID test positivity rate neared 60% in November.

And despite having the 6th smallest population in the country, South Dakota has the second-highest overall rate of coronavirus cases. The only state that beat out South Dakota is North Dakota.

Roger Stone danced to a rap about Trump.

Roger stone
Roger Stone dances with rapper Forgiato Blow as he arrives for CPAC.

Convicted felon Stone danced outside the Hyatt Regency in Orlando, Florida.

He arrived at the event without a ticket and began to dance on the sidewalk next to Forgiato Blow, a rapper who’s been described as “Trump-loving” by hip-hop outlets. 

Forgiato Blow was at the time rapping about Trump winning the election, which did not happen. 

The two were standing by and dancing near a truck featuring a giant image of Trump in the style of “Rambo” with an assault weapon.  

And he signed autographs.

Roger Stone autographs CPAC
Roger Stone signing an autograph at CPAC.

Stone also posed for pics with onlookers and Trump supporters. 

Conference organizers did not let him to the event since he didn’t have a ticket.

Trump in December pardoned Stone, who was found guilty of seven felonies last year in relation to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Mask-less attendees made up the crowd.

maskless people at CPAC
People listen as Don Trump, Jr. addresses the CPAC crowd on February 26, 2021, in Orlando, Florida.

Though many attendees wore masks, many others did not. 

And when a CPAC organizer urged the audience to wear a mask, she was met with resistance.

“We are in a private facility and we want to be respectful of the ordinances that they have as their private property, so please, everyone when you’re in the ballroom, when you’re seated, you should still be wearing a mask,” said CPAC organizer Carly Conley.

Attendees shouted “freedom” and booed at the directive.  

It’s been almost a year since the WHO declared the coronavirus a pandemic. Since then, more than 28 million people in the United States have contracted the virus, according to the latest data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Of that, more than 500,000 Americans have died

Many of the speakers who got on stage, which included a wide array of top GOP politicians, did not wear masks. 

Mask-wearing for months has been one of the guidelines that various health agencies have touted as most effective for preventing the spread of the coronavirus in public spaces.

Ted Cruz mocked Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Ted Cruz at CPAC
Ted Cruz addressing the crowd at CPAC.

Cruz appeared to make fun of Ocasio-Cortez for her response to the January 6 Capitol riot. 

“I thought I was going to die,” Ocasio-Cortez said after the insurrection.

“We’re gathered at a time where the hard left, where the socialists control the levers of government, where they control the White House, where they control every executive branch, where they control both houses of Congress. Bernie is wearing mittens, and AOC is telling us she was murdered,” Cruz said. 

His remarks about her come just days after she raised millions for Texans who were suffering after a storm knocked out power.

During that storm, Cruz fled to Cancún.

A woman advertises a book of Trump’s tweets.

Woman Trump tweets CPAC
A woman shows a publicity of the book “Just the Tweets.”

A woman walked around dressed as a giant book titled, “Just the Tweets,” an advertisement for a book containing the former president’s tweets from his first year in office.

Trump was banned from Twitter in January because of his potential to incite further violence following the deadly siege on the US Capitol, during which five people died.

Immediately following Twitter’s permanent suspension of Trump, top conservatives began sharing their Parler accounts on the platform, encouraging their followers to gravitate there. 

The former president was infuriated when he learned he was ban. A senior administration official told Politico that Trump went “ballistic.” Shortly after Twitter removed his @realDonaldTrump account, the president tweeted from the official @POTUS and @TeamTrump handles. But Twitter immediately deleted those posts as well. 

“Do you miss me yet?”

ORLANDO, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 28: Former President Donald Trump embraces the American flag as he arrives on stage to address the Conservative Political Action Conference held in the Hyatt Regency on February 28, 2021 in Orlando, Florida. Begun in 1974, CPAC brings together conservative organizations, activists, and world leaders to discuss issues important to them. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Former President Donald Trump embraces the American flag as he arrives on stage to address the Conservative Political Action Conference held in the Hyatt Regency on February 28, 2021 in Orlando, Florida.

Former President Trump began his closing remarks by asking a cheering crowd, “Do you miss me yet? Do you miss me?”

Trump, who was expected to speak on the unity of the GOP, said “For the next four years, the brave Republicans in this room will be at the heart of the effort to oppose the radical Democrats, the fake news media and their toxic cancel culture — something new to our ears … and I want you to know that I’m going to continue to fight right by your side.”

“We’re not starting new parties. You know, they kept saying, ‘he’s going to start a brand new party. We have the Republican. It’s going to unite and be stronger than ever before. I am not starting a new party. That was fake news.”

“Wouldn’t that be brilliant? Let’s start a new party. Let’s divide our vote so that you can never win. No, we’re not interested in that.”

He spent most of his remarks railing against the Biden administration’s immigration policies, executive orders, and COVID-19 response, particularly around vaccines and school reopenings.

“This alone should be reason enough for Democrats to suffer withering losses in the midterms and to lose the White House decisively four years from now,” Trump said, setting off a chant of “USA, USA, USA.”

“Actually, as you know, they just lost the white house,” he added, maintaining the false claim that he won in 2020. “But who knows … I might even decide to beat them for a third time.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Congressman Matt Gaetz doubles down on his defense of Ted Cruz’s Cancún vacation

cpac matt gaetz
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference being held in the Hyatt Regency on February 26, 2021 in Orlando, Florida.

  • Rep. Matt Gaetz has accused the media of being “biased” in their reporting of Ted Cruz’s Cancún trip.
  • Gaetz said the news media were more concerned about the trip than “caravans going through Mexico.”
  • The congressman previously said that Cruz shouldn’t have apologized for his vacation.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz on Saturday accused the media of being “biased” in their reporting of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s vacation to Cancún, Mexico.

Gaetz, who is an outspoken ally of former President Donald Trump, was speaking on the third day of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida when he made the comments.

“Now, speaking of all this bias, it was awful the way the media treated Ted Cruz,” Gaetz said, according to The Independent. 

“I mean the left and the media were more worried about Ted Cruz going to Mexico to spend his own money, then they are about the caravans going through Mexico to take ours,” he added, as applause erupted in the crowd.

Cruz has been facing calls to resign after he was caught flying to Cancún last week to stay at a luxury five-star resort with his family amid a catastrophic winter storm that left more than 20 people dead in Texas.

This is not the first time Gaetz has defended Cruz over his trip to Mexico.

Shortly after the Texas senator issued his apology, Gaetz tweeted: “Ted Cruz should not have apologized.” He did not elaborate on the assertion.

According to a YouGov poll published this week, Cruz’s approval rating among Republicans has dropped by more than 20 percent.

Cruz has since apologized for the trip and told reporters he regretted his decision. “It was obviously a mistake,” he said last week. “In hindsight, I wouldn’t have done it.”

However, earlier this week, the Texas senator accused the media of its coverage of his Mexican-vacation scandal, saying it was “obsessed” with him because it is suffering from “Trump withdrawal.”

 

Gaetz has been serving Florida’s 1st congressional district since 2017. He’s been called “one of the most enthusiastic defenders of President Trump on cable news” and a “proud Trump protégé.”

Trump himself is expected to speak at CPAC, in what will be his first public appearance since leaving the White House.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Hyatt says it’s creating a ‘highly inclusive environment’ as people call for a boycott of the hotel chain for hosting CPAC in Florida

trump cpac merch
Various items are seen on sale at the merchandise show at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021, in Orlando, Fla.

  • People are calling for a boycott of Hyatt, an American hotel chain that is hosting CPAC this weekend.
  • The annual political gathering for conservatives is taking place at Orlando’s Hyatt Regency hotel.
  • A Hyatt spokesperson said the chain is responsible for creating an inclusive environment.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

As people call for a boycott of Hyatt for hosting this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference, the American hotel chain is standing up for what it is describing as its  values of inclusivity and respect.

“We take pride in operating a highly inclusive environment and we believe that the facilitation of gatherings is a central element of what we do as a hospitality company,” a Hyatt spokesperson told Fox Business in response to hosting CPAC in its Hyatt Regency hotel in Orlando, Florida.

“We believe in the right of individuals and organizations to peacefully express their views, independent of the degree to which the perspectives of those hosting meetings and events at our hotels align with ours.”

The Hyatt spokesperson said the chain is responsible for creating an inclusive environment for all guests.

People initially took to Twitter over the weekend to call out the American hotel chain for hosting the conservative event, which is featuring speeches from Republican lawmakers, former White House officials, and former President Donald Trump. Many people took issue with the design of the event’s stage, which was reminiscent of symbol used by the Nazi party.

This year’s event is also shadowed by the January 6 iinsurrection at the US Capitol by Trump supporters. The mob had been fueled by baseless claims of election fraud propagated by Trump and other far-right conservatives, including his long-time ally Roger Stone, who was on stage at the Florida event on Saturday. 

 

Some prominent Republicans took to Twitter to defend the hotel chain.

The event officially ends on Sunday, February 28. On Friday, CPAC hosts were booed and heckled when they asked crowd to wear masks to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Read the original article on Business Insider

CPAC stage is shaped like a Nordic rune used on some Nazi uniforms

cpac stage
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference held in the Hyatt Regency on February 26, 2021 in Orlando, Florida.

  • Twitter users noted the design of a stage at CPAC closely resembles a symbol used on Nazi uniforms.
  • CPAC organizer Matt Schlapp denied the resemblance was intentional, calling the idea “outrageous and slanderous.”
  • The “Odal rune” has also been used by white supremacists in Europe and North America.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

A stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference drew attention over the weekend for its resemblance to a Nordic rune that appeared on Nazi uniforms.

 

After people on Twitter noticed the similarity, the organizer of the conservative conference strongly denied it was intentional, saying the “stage design conspiracies are outrageous and slanderous.”

“We have a long-standing commitment to the Jewish community,” Matt Schlapp, the head of the American Conservative Union, said in a tweet. “CPAC proudly stands with our Jewish allies, including those speaking from this stage.”

The design of the stage is in the shape of an “Odal rune,” which was used on Nazi uniforms in some divisions of the SS and has also been used by white supremacists in Europe and North America in the years following World War II.

However, because the symbol is part of the runic alphabet, it’s used in non-extremist contexts as well, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

Insider identified a version of the symbol in a photo taken in Germany in 2008 at a neo-Nazi summer camp that was broken up by police.

GettyImages 82269326
A police handout photo shows towels covered with a swastika and a Runic letter at a neo-Nazi children’s summer camp in Germany. Police raided the camp on August 7, 2008, where they confiscated neo-Nazi literature and promotional materials.

Runic alphabets predate the modern Roman alphabet and were used widely across Europe. They were appropriated by white supremacists due to the use of runes by Nazi Germany. 

Nazis have coopted numerous symbols from other cultures. The swastika was used for millennia as a symbol of good fortune by Buddhists, Hindus, and Jains before being appropriated by Nazis.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Ted Cruz said the Republican Party is ‘not just the party of country clubs’ but CPAC is fixated on Donald Trump – a man who literally lives at one

Trump statue CPAC 2021
People take a picture with former President Donald Trump’s statue on display at the Conservative Political Action Conference held in the Hyatt Regency on February 27, 2021 in Orlando, Florida.

  • Sen. Ted Cruz said the GOP is for the working class and “not just the party of country clubs.”
  • But CPAC, where Cruz was speaking, seemed to be all about Donald Trump, who lives at a club he also owns.
  • Cruz himself was criticized last week for leaving frigid Texas to visit a luxury resort in Cancun.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz gave a fiery speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday, shouting about freedom, mask-wearing, and late-night comedians.

He also proclaimed the Republican Party is the party of working-class Americans and not just country clubs – but the conference itself seemed to be fixated on former President Donald Trump, a man who literally lives at one.

“The Republican Party is not just the party of country clubs, the Republican Party is the party of steel workers, construction workers, pipeline workers, police officers, firefighters, waiters and waitresses,” Cruz said in his speech.

 

Cruz also emphasized his support of Trump in his speech, indicating that Trumpism is the future of the GOP.

“There are a whole lot of voices in Washington that want to just erase the last four years,” Cruz said. “Let me tell you this right now, Donald J. Trump ain’t going anywhere.”

CPAC itself has largely been centered on the former president. The annual conference is taking place in Orlando, Florida this weekend and usually brings together conservative organizations, activists, and public figures.

Speakers this year included mostly pro-Trump conservatives, while establishment Republicans like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell were largely absent, Insider’s Tom LoBianco reported.

Donald Trump Jr., who gave a speech on Friday, said the conference should be called TPAC, presumably for Trump Political Action Conference, adding “that’s what it feels like.”

Videos and photos of the event showed Trump had a dominant presence, including a large golden statue depicting the former president wearing American flag shorts (Politico reported the statue was made in Mexico).

The event was also full of Trump-themed merchandise being sold at stands, with “Trump 2024” and “Make America Great Again” slogans appearing on hats, shirts, and stuffed animals.

Many attendees also sported MAGA masks and hats.

trump cpac merch
Various items are seen on sale at the merchandise show at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021, in Orlando, Fla.

Trump himself will speak on the last day of the conference and reportedly plans to use the speech, his first since leaving office, to demonstrate his influence over the Republican Party, Axios reported. 

After leaving the White House, Trump moved into his exclusive Mar-a-Lago resort, a private club in Palm Beach, Florida.

Trump has owned the estate since 1985, paying $8 million for it, and lived there for years before converting it into a private club. The Trump family maintains private residences there and it was often referred to as “the winter White House” during Trump’s four years in office.

The club is not open to the public and membership costs reportedly soared to $200,000 plus a $14,000 annual fee after Trump was elected. That’s nearly four times the average annual salary for a Florida police officer or a steel worker, both professions Cruz called out in his speech.

As for Cruz, he came under scrutiny last week for leaving Texas amid devastating winter storms to visit a luxury resort in Cancun as millions of Texans struggled without power or potable water. He returned the following day and expressed regret for his departure, calling it a “mistake.”

But that didn’t stop him from joking about it at CPAC.

“Orlando is awesome,” he said. “It’s not as nice as Cancun. But it’s nice.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Donald Trump Jr. gives fiery CPAC speech full of grievances against anti-Trump Republicans, big tech, and the mainstream media

donald trump jr cpac
Donald Trump Jr. does an interview on media row at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Friday, Feb. 26, 2021, in Orlando, Fla.

  • Donald Trump Jr. gave a fiery speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
  • He aired grievances against anti-Trump Republicans, big tech, the mainstream media, and the election.
  • He criticized Rep. Liz Cheney, saying her “politics are only slightly less popular than her father is at a quail hunt.”
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Speaking at his first major event since his family left the White House last month, Donald Trump Jr. on Friday skewered President Joe Biden and recycled his grievances against anti-Trump Republicans, “big tech,” the mainstream media, and the 2020 election results.

He kicked off his speech at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) by jokingly calling it “TPAC” and ripping Biden for ordering airstrikes on Syria mere weeks into his administration.

“Who would have thought that within 33 days, we’d be bombing the Middle East again?” Trump Jr. said.

He then turned his aim on Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, the third highest-ranking Republican in the House of Representatives who made headlines by voting to impeach Trump last month.

“I’m sure she has a lot of bipartisan support because if there’s one thing that she and Joe Biden definitely want to do, it’s bomb the Middle East,” Trump Jr. said.

“Liz Cheney and her politics are only slightly less popular than her father is at a quail hunt,” he added, referring to when then Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot his friend in the face in 2006 while the two were out hunting together.

Trump Jr. went on to call the younger Cheney “Lincoln Project Liz” and accused her of representing “RINO” – Republican in name only – policies, “the kinds of policies that put the Republican Party in a position where they needed a Donald Trump.”

Cheney “is tied to an establishment that has done nothing but fail us time and time again,” Trump Jr. said. “You’ve heard the rhetoric from some of them over the last couple of weeks, and now you’ve seen that change very quickly. Because if there’s one thing the Republican Party has been really good at over the last few decades, it’s snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.”

He also appeared to sarcastically refer to the more than 80 million US voters who cast ballots for Biden, putting the number in air quotes. The former president and his allies have repeatedly claimed that Biden did not actually receive that many votes because many of them were fraudulent (they weren’t.)

Trump Jr. also set his sights on Biden’s son, Hunter, who is currently under federal criminal investigation over his tax affairs and overseas business activities.

“I’m sure he’s making billions in China right now, don’t worry,” said Trump Jr., who has repeatedly touted the Trump Organization’s own foreign dealings. He then accused both Bidens of “corruption,” a long-running talking point in conservative political circles, adding, “We were all talking about it, guys. It wasn’t anything new, but that also shouldn’t surprise us.”

Fact check: Although the younger Biden is under criminal investigation, there is no evidence that the president had any knowledge or involvement in the activities under scrutiny.

Trump Jr. later attacked “big tech,” saying it “will silence you if you come out against it. They will crush you. They will call you racist and everything else.”

“That’s what we’re up against, folks,” he added. “But together, we can win these fights. We have to be vocal. We can’t be put in the corner. We must be out and engaged.”

“So, I’m looking forward to Sunday,” Trump Jr. said, referring to the former president’s upcoming speech. “I imagine it will not be what we call a low-energy speech, and I assure you that it will solidify Donald Trump and all of your feelings about the MAGA movement as the future of the Republican Party.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Ted Cruz rants about comedians, late night TV, and mask-wearing before shouting at people to ‘just have fun’ in wild CPAC speech

ted cruz cpac speech
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tex.

  • Ted Cruz’s CPAC speech began with a joke about the Cancun scandal and ended in a guttural scream about freedom.
  • Cruz railed against late night TV, mocked mask-wearing, and expressed his support for Trump.
  • “That is our party,” he yelled, “and these deplorables are here to stay.”
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s speech at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference went off the rails Friday as he shouted about late night comedians, mask-wearing, and President Joe Biden.

“Orlando is awesome. It’s not as nice as Cancun, but it’s nice,” Cruz began, referring to the scandal he sparked when he left storm-ravaged Texas for Cancun with his family last week. The Republican senator returned to Houston a day later after drawing sharp criticism for leaving the state he represented for a vacation in the middle of a devastating winter storm.

Later in his speech, Cruz issued a rallying cry in support of former President Donald Trump.

“There are a whole lot of voices in Washington that want to just erase the last four years, want to go back to the world before where we had government of the lobbyists, by the lobbyists, and for the lobbyists,” he said.

“Where the Republicans’ compelling message was, ‘Republicans: we waste less,'” Cruz continued. “And they look at Donald J. Trump and they look at the millions and millions of people inspired who went to battle fighting alongside President Trump, and they’re terrified and they want him to go away.”

“Let me tell you this right now: Donald J. Trump ain’t going anywhere,” Cruz added even though the former president once suggested that the senator’s father helped assassinate John F. Kennedy and insinuated that his wife was ugly.

Here are some other highlights from Cruz’s speech:

  • Mask-wearing is virtue-signaling: “We’re gonna wear masks for the next 300 years,” Cruz said. “And by the way, not just one mask – two, three, four – you can’t have too many masks! How much virtue do you wanna signal?”
  • Railing against comedians and cancel culture before telling people to “just have fun”: “You know, Jerry Seinfeld doesn’t tell comedy anymore because then he jokes that funny is canceled,” Cruz said. “You know, ‘SNL’ is unwatchable. The late night comedy, they stand up and say ‘We hate Donald Trump.’ Yeah, no kidding. We didn’t get that the last 9,000 times you said that.”
  • Democrats are trying to turn skaters into socialists: “And let me tell you, right now, in Los Angeles, there’s some skater kid who’s 19, who’s told that it’s hip and chic and cool to be a leftist socialist, man,” Cruz said. “Who’s gonna hear a message, ‘Wait a second, these guys don’t want me to speak? Think? Have fun? Do what I wanna do?'”
  • There were no “Black Lives Matter” demonstrations in Houston last year because of the Second Amendment: “In Houston where I live, I have to tell you, there weren’t any rioters because let’s be very clear, if there had been, they would discover what the state of Texas thinks about the 2nd amendment right to keep and bear arms,” Cruz said.

Cruz rounded out his speech by warning that the US is in a period of “dark days” and that “the country will come back to sanity.” He added: “And mark my words, 2022 is going to be a fantastic election year and so is 2024 as we stand together and defend liberty, defend the Constitution, defend the Bill of Rights of every American.”

In closing, Cruz quoted William Wallace and screamed, “FREEDOM!”

Read the original article on Business Insider