One might think that the title of this post “Thank God Trump Backed Out! ” is a political statement, but in this case it’s not a commentary on why I think that Trump would be a lousy choice to lead the party in 2016, it’s a matter of logistics. In preparation for Trump’s appearance at CPAC, the Secret Service took over security yesterday, causing some people to wait up to ninety minutes to get into the hall (thankfully for the media it was much less maybe 45 minutes). Since Trump decided during the last minute to pull out, so did the Secret Service and this morning people were able to get unobstructed access into the hall.
Those delays in entering were the only negative part of what IMHO is the best of the six CPACs I’ve attended (but more about that in another post).
Whatever you have heard about the reason Trump pulled out is only part of the story. For example, according to Politico the reason that Trump backed out was that he refused to answer questions.
Amid criticism of the relationship with CPAC’s organizers, Trump also bristled at their insistence that he answer questions from a journalist of their choosing onstage after his speech, according to sources familiar with the planning.
They refused to accept the terms and they asked us to change the terms to allow him to give longer remarks,” said Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, the group that sponsors CPAC. “And we said no to that.”
An ACU board member added that Trump “didn’t want to answer questions, and he decided he was the frontrunner so he didn’t need to answer them, or even to show up.”
Think about that for a second, Trump answers questions on live TV a few times a day (and IMHO too many times a day) why would he care about answering questions at CPAC? Does he really think that the ACU (the organization that owns/runs CPAC) would ambush him after ignoring calls for them to disinvite him? CPAC didn’t keep Trump on their agenda because of any affinity toward him or any other candidate, they always have all possible GOP presidential contenders the year before and the year of a presidential campaign.
The real reason Trump backed out was mentioned as an afterthought by Politico—protests.
Soon after CPAC began on Wednesday it became clear that this was a Ted Cruz crowd, something confirmed Thursday night during the pre-debate festivities when Sean Hannity asked the crowd who they were for Cruz was first by a huge margin (something one would expect from a conservative crowd).
Tea Party Patriots head Jenny Beth Martin, a Ted Cruz supporter eviscerated Trump in her Friday Speech:
“On any given issue, at any given time, Donald Trump will take the position that serves his interest as he perceives it at the time,” she warned. “Donald Trump loves himself first, last, and in between. He loves himself more than the country. He loves himself more than the Constitution. He does not love you or me. He does not love the Tea Party.”
William Temple the man at CPAC who wears the founding fathers outfit every year, was planning to lead a mass walkout during the Trump speech on Saturday morning.
Temple led a successful walk out during Jeb Bush’s speech 2015.
An even bigger protest was to be held inside the ballroom during Trump’s speech, with plans for people to begin chants of No Trump, or Never Trump, while sitting in their seats as to not raise the ire of the Trump’s secret service protectors.
Here’s the bottom line, Trump did not pull-out of CPAC because he was afraid of answering questions from Sean Hannity or any other Fox News personality. Trump pulled out of CPAC because he was afraid that the evening news would show the nation’s largest gathering of conservatives rejecting the billionaire bloviator of birtherism. As with everything else Trump does or says (including his presidential run) it’s all about sating his super-sized ego.