Real estate magnate and reality television star Donald Trump will speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the end of February, Breitbart News has learned exclusively.
Trump, a potential 2016 GOP presidential candidate, joins a star-studded lineup of major players in GOP politics. CPAC 2015 will be held from Feb. 25 through Feb. 28 at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland just outside of Washington, D.C. Annually, it is perhaps the major national gathering of conservative activists.
Confirmed speakers who are also potential 2016 presidential candidates include Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee Gov. Sarah Palin, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Dr. Ben Carson, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina.
Other high-profile confirmed speakers include Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), Media Research Center president Brent Bozell, radio host Mark Levin, Fox News’ Sean Hannity, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and more.
The American Conservative Union (ACU) hosts the event. ACU’s Chairman Matt Schlapp told Breitbart News he’s excited Trump is coming.
“We are honored that Donald Trump is coming,” Schlapp said. “I’ve had the opportunity to sit down with him and talk to him on a number of occasions. He is a true American success story. Whenever he speaks at CPAC, he is a crowd favorite because nothing is sacred and he tells it like it is.”
Trump has been making the rounds to early presidential primary states, having traveled to Iowa last weekend for the Iowa Freedom Summit hosted by Rep. Steve King (R-IA) and Citizens United. He visited South Carolina the weekend before for the South Carolina Tea Party Coalition Convention in Myrtle Beach, and is scheduled to visit New Hampshire soon.
In the Granite State, Trump will be meeting with statehouse Rep. Bill O’Brien, the former state house Speaker, and several conservative activists. According to NH Journal’s John DiStaso, Trump will gather with O’Brien and conservative activists there in March.
Trump is also set to return to Iowa for the Iowa Agriculture Summit in Des Moines on March 7.
Trump has made waves early by attacking both 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush as unelectable potential 2016 GOP candidates. Romney, after originally flirting publicly with a potential 2016 bid, announced he’s not going to run, and Trump takes partial credit for Romney’s decision. Bush, on the other hand, is still openly considering running—though he is trailing Scott Walker and other candidates in some early polls. Walker’s speech to the Iowa Freedom Summit and a poll from Matt Drudge’s Drudge Report give him early frontrunner status in the still-young 2016 polls.
Trump, at a press conference aboard his private jet last month, told reporters that Bush shouldn’t even be considered by Republican voters for the nomination.
The last thing this country needs is another Bush. We’ve had it with the Bushes, and the last Bush did not do a great job. He gave us Obama, he gave us—as you know—Justice [John] Roberts [of the Supreme Court] who approved Obamacare. He’s got a second shot at it but who knows what’s going to happen, it’s not as good as the first one. But he [George W. Bush] gave us Justice Roberts who approved Obamacare. We’re all saddled with Obamacare, the country is saddled with it. And it really kicks in in 2016. It’s going to be a disaster for the country.
Trump’s major focus, should he run for president himself, would be—in his words—aiming to “make America great again.”
What separates him from other candidates, Trump said last month, is the “fact that I can get things done.”