DALLAS – Republicans from around the U.S. are converging on Dallas, Texas for the second Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) this year, a confab that’s expected to demonstrate former President Donald Trump’s continued hold on the GOP while highlighting other Republican stars as the midterm elections near.
The conference, as with the event CPAC held in Orlando in February, is going to be headlined by Trump himself on Sunday. Donald Trump Jr., the former president’s son and chief surrogate, speaks Friday.
The Dallas event does not have as deep a lineup of conservative heavy hitters as the Orlando conference – there is usually only one CPAC per year, in February – but the event will still feature a number high-profile Republicans including potential 2024 presidential contenders.
Among the top speakers are South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Rick Scott, R-Fla., Former Acting Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell, Former Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and more.
Former President Donald Trump walks out to speak during the final day of the Conservative Political Action Conference CPAC held at the Hyatt Regency Orlando on Sunday, Feb 28, 2021 in Orlando, FL. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images) ((Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images))
CPAC 2021: FOX NATION TO SPONSOR, STREAM LIVE SPEECHES FROM INFLUENTIAL CONSERVATIVES
Here are some of the major themes to look out for during CPAC 2021: America Uncanceled.
Open for business
There will be no masks, no social distancing and no coronavirus-related health screenings for the thousands of attendees at the conference – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott lifted all of Texas’ health restrictions in March. American Conservative Union Chairman Matt Schlapp says that’s a large part of why he decided to bring the conference to Texas.
“During CPAC Orlando with [Florida] Gov. [Ron] DeSantis’ leadership, you know, they opened up Florida,” Schlapp told Fox News. “When we got back from CPAC Orlando we said, look, Texas is the next big state, they’re open. We should reward them and we should do another big conference. We didn’t know how big it would be, but it’s going to be a big one.”
Schlapp added that Texas was a natural choice for another conference as it’s “a mega red state.”
“There’s a re-sorting in America of people who want to have open schools, open churches,” Schlapp continued. “People who want to thrive economically without a lot of government help are moving to states like Texas and Florida and South Carolina and other places.”
Lifting COVID restrictions is likely to be a significant part of the CPAC discussion. There’s a panel Saturday titled “Are the Leftovers from the Pandemic Here to Stay?” which will feature COVID-skeptic Alex Berenson and Rep. Jody Hice, R-Ga., which is expected to discuss issues like mask mandates on public transportation and vaccines.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott attends a press conference where he signed Senate Bills 2 and 3 at the Capitol on June 8, 2021 in Austin, Texas. American Conservative Union Chairman Matt Schlapp lauded Abbott in an interview with Fox News for ending his state’s COVID restrictions. (Photo by Montinique Monroe/Getty Images) (Photo by Montinique Monroe/Getty Images)
TRUMP MAKES NO MENTION OF DESANTIS AT FLORIDA RALLY
Another panel, which will feature former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, is titled, “Is America Prepared to deal with the Pandemic of Misery & Addiction Caused by the Opioid Crisis?” The effect of COVID lockdowns on addiction could be a significant topic in that Sunday discussion.
The Orlando conference in February took on Trump’s personality, with Make America Great Again hats speckling the crowd and a massive golden statue of the former
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