Trump Breaks from CPAC Address, Reads ‘The Snake’ in Entirety

Trump Recites CPAC 2018
SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

President Donald Trump, after asking the crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) for permission to go off script Friday, read the entire 1963 “snake poem” he used to such effect on the campaign trail.

The lyrics, adapted in 1963 by songwriter Oscar Brown from Aesop’s Fable “The Farmer and the Viper,” ends with an altruistic woman who saves a dying snake being fatally bitten, only for the snake to “sigh” and say “You knew damn well I was a snake before you took me in.”

Trump used the poem frequently as an allegory for the Syrian Refugee Crisis and “generous” immigration policy that puts the interests of foreigners above that of Americans.

At his second CPAC address as president Trump turned away from the teleprompters, pulling what appeared to be a copy of The Snake out of his pocket from the CPAC podium at the Gaylord Resort and Convention Center at National Harbor outside Washington, DC.

“Did anyone ever hear me do The Snake during the campaign?” Trump asked the standing room only CPAC crowd. “Because I had five people outside say, ‘Could you do The Snake?”

“So this is called ‘The Snake,'” President Trump said, “and think of it in terms of immigration, and you may love it, or you may say, ‘Isn’t that terrible.'”

“And if you say ‘isn’t that terrible,’ who cares,” Trump quickly clarified and gestured toward the media pen. “Because compared to the way they treat me, that’s peanuts.”

The Oscar Brown-penned lyrics Trump read go as follows:

On her way to work one morning
Down the path alongside the lake
A tender-hearted woman saw a poor half-frozen snake
His pretty colored skin had been all frosted with the dew
“Oh well,” she cried, “I’ll take you in and I’ll take care of you”
“Take me in oh tender woman
Take me in, for heaven’s sake
Take me in oh tender woman,” sighed the snake

She wrapped him up all cozy in a curvature of silk
And then laid him by the fireside with some honey and some milk
Now she hurried home from work that night as soon as she arrived
She found that pretty snake she’d taken in had been revived
“Take me in, oh tender woman
Take me in, for heaven’s sake
Take me in oh tender woman,” sighed the snake

Now she clutched him to her bosom, “You’re so beautiful,” she cried
“But if I hadn’t brought you in by now you might have died”
Now she stroked his pretty skin and then she kissed and held him tight
But instead of saying thanks, that snake gave her a vicious bite
“Take me in, oh tender woman
Take me in, for heaven’s sake
Take me in oh tender woman,” sighed the snake

“I saved you,” cried that woman
“And you’ve bit me even, why?
You know your bite is poisonous and now I’m going to die”
“Oh shut up, silly woman,” said the reptile with a grin
“You knew damn well I was a snake before you took me in.”

“And that’s what we’re doing with our country folks. We’re letting a lot of people in, and it’s gonna be a lot of trouble. It’s only getting worse,” Trump said, putting the paper with the lyrics back in his suit pocket.

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