Trump Touts 'America First' Philosophy In CPAC Address

Donald Trump has spoken to the group of conservative activists he spoke to on Friday before, but as president he got a very different reception than he has in past years.

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President Donald Trump took another victory lap today, this time at the Conservative Political Action Conference known as CPAC. In his remarks, he lashed out at the media and people who doubted his ability to win the presidency. And he made big promises to his audience at the conference, who cheered him on. NPR White House correspondent Tamara Keith has more.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: President Trump brought his message of America first to CPAC.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: There is no such thing as a global anthem, a global currency or a global flag. This is the United States of America that I am representing. I’m not representing the globe. I’m representing your country.

(CHEERING, APPLAUSE)

KEITH: This was his third appearance at the conference. The first was in 2011, which he reflected on warmly today.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

TRUMP: I had very little notes and even less preparation.

(LAUGHTER)

TRUMP: So when you have practically no notes and no preparation and then you leave and everybody was thrilled, I said, I think I like this business.

KEITH: The business being politics. Actually, Trump did seem to be reading from prepared remarks back in 2011.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

TRUMP: If I decide to run, I will not be raising taxes.

(CHEERING, APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: We’ll be taking in hundreds of billions of dollars from other countries that are screwing us.

(CHEERING, APPLAUSE)

KEITH: Sound familiar? Remember; this isn’t today. It’s Trump six years ago.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

TRUMP: We’ll be creating vast numbers of productive jobs.

(CHEERING, APPLAUSE)

TRUMP: And we’ll – thank you very much. And we’ll rebuild our country so that we can be proud. Our country will be great again. Thank you very much.

KEITH: When he returned in 2015, Trump was once again considering a run for president and once again talking about making America great again. But it wasn’t really his crowd. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul won that year’s CPAC straw poll. Now as president, Trump was back.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

TRUMP: So let me tell you about the actions that we’re taking right now to deliver on our promise to the American people and on my promise to make America great again.

KEITH: Trump talked about the executive orders he’s already signed, said the wall is going to be built starting soon, pledged that the jobs are coming back and that he’s going to put in a massive budget request for the military. But before all that, the president spent about 10 minutes bashing the media.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

TRUMP: A few days ago, I called the fake news the enemy of the people. And they are. They are the enemy of the people.

(CHEERING, APPLAUSE)

KEITH: Trump claims he was trying to draw a distinction there, saying he does like some reporters.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

TRUMP: But I am only against the fake news media or press – fake, fake. They have to lead that word. I’m against the people that make up stories and make up sources. They shouldn’t be allowed to use sources unless they use somebody’s name.

KEITH: The timing of this concern with unnamed sources was ironic given that just hours earlier, the White House summoned reporters to dispute a story but insisted that the people speaking be identified only as senior administration officials and not by their names. And just hours after the president’s speech, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer briefed reporters, excluding numerous news organizations. Tamara Keith, NPR News, the White House.

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