Supporters of former U.S. President Donald Trump hailed his appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando where he delivered a speech, cheering him on for another presidential term.
Taking the stage for the first time since leaving office, Trump on Sunday called for Republican Party unity, even as he exacerbated intraparty divisions and trumpeted lies about the election in a speech that made clear he intends to remain a dominant political force.
Speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference, where he has been hailed as a returning hero, Trump blasted his successor, President Joe Biden, and tried to cement his status as the party’s undisputed leader despite his loss in November.
“It was the best time I had in months,” said one supporter.
Another said her batteries had been recharged and “we’re ready to go and take on the battle and finish what President Trump started.”
The conference, held this year in Orlando instead of the Washington suburbs because of COVID-19 restrictions, has served as a tribute to Trump and Trumpism, complete with a golden statue in his likeness on display.
Speakers, including many potential 2024 hopefuls, have argued the party must embrace the former president and his followers, even after the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6.