Trump says an indictment would not end his presidential campaign

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Trump says indictment won't end presidential campaign

Donald Trump delivered the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) landmark speech Saturday night in Maryland.

Former President Donald Trump said Saturday that& #x27;he would continue his third presidential campaign even if indicted.

Absolutely, I wouldn't even think about leaving, Mr Trump told reporters before a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

Donald Trump is being investigated by prosecutors over his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results as well as his handling of classified documents, among other issues.

Donald Trump gave the keynote speech at the conference on Saturday night, telling a cheering crowd of supporters that he was engaged in his final battle as he tried to return to the White House .

We will finish what we started, he said. We will complete the mission. We will fight this battle to ultimate victory.

While CPAC was once a go-to stop for Republican presidential candidates, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is seen as one of Trump's top potential challengers, and other top contenders likely have skipped this year's rally amid scandal and as the band increasingly aligns with Donald Trump.

The enduring popularity of the former president with this part of the electorate came through throughout the conference this week. Some attendees wore Mr. Trump-themed outfits, complete with MAGA hats and sequined jackets. Prospective and declared candidates who made no mention of Donald Trump received only half-hearted applause.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis

CPAC's annual poll, an unscientific survey of attendees, found Donald Trump the top choice to be the party's nominee, with 62% of support, followed by Mr. DeSantis at 20% and ;businessman Perry Johnson, who announced his long bid at the conference, with 5%.

Nearly all — 95% of respondents — said that& #x27;they were approving of Donald Trump's performance as president.

This is an audience that supports President Trump, said Republican Representative Elise Stefanik, who has endorsed Mr. Trump days before the official launch of his 2024 campaign.

The only member of the House leadership to attend the conference, Ms. Stefanik told The Associated Press that Mr. Trump continues to be the leader of the party.

President Trump is in a very strong position and I think he will be the Republican nominee, she said.

While his potential opponents for the White House presented to conservative donors near his home in Florida, in his speech Donald Trump repeatedly criticized the Republican establishment, which is eager to move on from the former president.

We had a Republican Party run by monsters, neo-conservatives, globalists, open border fanatics and fools. But we will never go back to the party of Paul Ryan, Karl Rove and Jeb Bush, he said.

He also shot an arrow at Mr. DeSantis, calling out those who have proposed raising the age for the federal Social Security benefits program or privatizing Medicare — positions Mr. DeSantis has expressed in the past. but which he has since abandoned. We're not going to mess with Social Security as Republicans, Mr. DeSantis said recently.

Donald Trump told the crowd: If it's their original thought is what they always come back to.

Nikki Haley delivered a speech Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

While many high-profile Republicans avoided the conference, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley both spoke on Friday and snarled at Donald Trump. Ms. Haley has declared her candidacy, but Mr. Pompeo has yet to formalize it. Their refusal to call him by name underscored the risks faced by opponents seeking to offer an alternative in a party in which Mr. Trump remains the dominant force.

There's no one in this field I want as president other than Donald J. Trump, said Waverly Woods, a Republican activist and marketer from Virginia, who mentioned she likes Mr. DeSantis, but that Mr. Trump held first place in the hearts of many conference attendees.

But not everyone at CPAC was from ;agree.

E. Payne Kilbourn, a retired Navy submarine captain from Neavitt, Maryland, said he was very, very happy with Donald Trump's presidency, but is now time for the party to move on.

I think Donald Trump is just too toxic for most of the country, said Mr. Kilbourn, 69, an independent who votes for Republicans in the general election and wants Mr. Trump to step down and just be the guy behind the scenes.

Strategically, he sees Mr. DeSantis as better positioned to eventually win the race for the White House. He believes he has a better chance of being elected.

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