Op-ed by Elad Hakim | Photo: Alamy
President Donald Trump is scheduled to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), which begins this week. Former United Nations Ambassador and current presidential candidate, Nikki Haley, is also scheduled to address those in attendance. Absent from the list of notable speakers is Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who, per The Hill, decided to skip the conference this year.
The conference is a wonderful and important opportunity for those seeking office or considering it, to share their positions and plans on important issues. As reported by the Independent, “the four-day event bills itself as the ‘largest and most influential gathering of conservatives in the world.’”
Trump and Haley recognize this. DeSantis, on the other hand, has other plans during this time frame.
As reported by The Hill, “The likely 2024 Republican presidential hopeful is opting instead to head off on a jam-packed travel schedule that includes several stops in Florida to promote his new book, as well as GOP dinners in Texas and an appearance at the Club for Growth’s annual donor retreat.”
Former Vice President Mike Pence will also not attend the conference.
As reported by The Daily Beast, when asked about their absence, CPAC spokesperson Megan Powers stated, “It’s a missed opportunity for any potential Presidential Candidate to not address the thousands of grassroots activists at CPAC this year. Luckily, CPAC attendees will get to hear from every announced presidential candidate and over 100 premiere speakers, including over 30 elected officials.”
While DeSantis has not announced whether he intends to run for president, many expect an announcement after the legislative session ends in Florida.
Recent polls show DeSantis trailing Trump. Additionally, as reported by the DC Enquirer, a recent poll published by McLaughlin & Associates shows Trump easily beating Joe Biden in a hypothetical rematch.
According to DC Enquirer, “More remarkably, Trump has pulled over eight percent of Biden’s 2020 voters to his side, while Biden has only managed to persuade two percent of Trump’s 2020 voters that he is the right choice.”
The conference begins this Wednesday and runs through Saturday. President Trump will be the highlight speaker on Saturday night.
Mr. Hakim is an attorney and columnist. His articles have been published in The Washington Examiner, The Daily Caller, The Federalist, American Thinker, and other online publications. He is also a regular guest on OANN’s Tipping Point, and has appeared on Newsmax, The Jenna Ellis Show, Steadfast and Loyal Podcast with Allen West, The Dave Weinbaum Show, and Real America’s Voice. The views expressed herein are the author’s own and do not constitute legal advice.