‘Donald Trump is a juggernaut of justice’: The most bizarre things said at CPAC 2024

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A sleepy and half-empty CPAC convened for its first gathering in 2024 at the Gaylord National Conference Center in National Harbor, Maryland, but there were still plenty of wild and unsubstantiated claims to be made.

Here are some of the most bizarre things said even before Donald Trump took to the stage:

Byron Donalds goes on Trump-esque wind power rant

US Rep Byron Donalds (R-FL) speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) annual meeting in National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., February 22, 2024 (REUTERS)
US Rep Byron Donalds (R-FL) speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) annual meeting in National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., February 22, 2024 (REUTERS)

Former President Donald Trump, who’s set to speak on Saturday night, regularly rants about windmills and how they kill whales. No, really.

Florida Rep Byron Donalds appeared on stage in National Harbor on Thursday, saying that “in our economy, we need leadership” to counteract “this ... Green New Deal stuff, which by the way, isn’t even that green”.

“It’s not even that green when you go on to read the studies. These solar panels are dirtier than natural gas. These wind turbines, there have been more men and women who have died from wind turbines than nuclear power,” he said. “That is a fact.”

“More people have died from maintaining wind turbines than have died from nuclear power plants. But you gotta have leadership that’s going to tell the truth and set America on the track going forward. We shouldn’t be chasing green technology just to chase green technology, we should be chasing the cheapest and most readily available form of energy so all of our people can be successful,” he added.

As you can imagine, Mr Donalds doesn’t believe recent extreme weather events are connected to the climate crisis.

The government has become the father

U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) annual meeting in National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., February 22, 2024 (REUTERS)
U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) annual meeting in National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., February 22, 2024 (REUTERS)

Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville appeared to be very concerned about American fatherhood and the government stepping in to take the place of fathers across the US.

And there was of course a mention of the top Republican boogeywoman for the last 30+ years – Hillary Clinton.

Podcast host Ben Ferguson was interviewing Mr Tuberville, saying: “We are at war right now ... to control our children because they believe that our children are part of the United States government. They are not yours. Your kids, your grandkids, these communists and socialists and Marxists ... believe when they talk about your kids as property of this country, Hillary Clinton said it takes a village why because she doesn’t like your home – she likes her village and she wants to indoctrinate your children.”

Mr Tuberville was of course unable to answer without bringing up gender or without bashing teachers: “I’ve seen all this mess and it starts with what’s going on with our family, with our kids, and with this crazy idea of gender. They want everybody to be the same.”

“Unions at one time were good for this country, but not unions for our teachers in our schools because they have absolutely been the ones that drag our country down because they want to teach this woke socialism agenda that our parents don’t want,” he claimed without pushback from Mr Ferguson. “And of course, the government have attacked our parents for years. They want to divide the family, they want the dad [gone], they want the mom to get a cheque for every kid ... it’s a disaster and it all goes back to Christian and moral values.”

Mr Ferguson added that in his “hometown of Memphis, Tennessee, this year, they think that about 84 to 86 per cent of all African American children born this year will be born into single-parent households ... the government has become the father”.

Biden is stealing elections, get Trump back in there

Mr Tuberville appeared convinced that President Joe Biden stole the 2020 election from Mr Trump, despite that only one of them, that being the former president, has been charged in connection to attempts to overturn the 2020 results.

“We have a leader for four years, and they ran him out,” he said of Mr Trump. “They ran him out and they’re trying to keep him from getting reelected this time.”

“They stuffed the ballot box on him four years ago,” Mr Tuberville claimed, without evidence. “We’ve got to get Donald Trump elected president United States. You have got to do all you can do to get everybody go vote.”

“If you don’t have that White House. I don’t care if you got the Senate. I don’t care if you’ve got the House. If you don’t have that White House,” he said, noting that the immense “power that the President of the United States now has”.

“If we don’t get him back in that White House, it is going to be tough for any of us to survive in the greatest country ever,” he claimed. “For the next 10 months, it’s gonna be rough, you’re gonna have the groups coming out on the left, that we saw a few years ago, turned down cities, burning buildings.”

‘They hate Christianity’ and ‘they’re gonna come after your churches’

Mr Tuberville added that “they want to control everything that we do. They hate Christianity ... if you pull the Constitution out on you know, they run like it’s a crucifix. The entire thing here is globalisation, overtaking everything that we do”.

“They’re gonna vilify you, you’re gonna see everything in a world said about Donald Trump or your local conservative politician,” he claimed.

“They are going to come after you. They’re gonna come after your churches, your anything to do with any kind of discipline, your law enforcement, it’s gonna be a tough time because they can’t give up they know a lot of these people are gonna go to jail,” he added without substantiating his claims.

Democrats ‘are communists and communists always have a plan’

Monica Crowley following a meeting at Trump Tower (Jim Watson/Getty)
Monica Crowley following a meeting at Trump Tower (Jim Watson/Getty)

Former United States Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Public Affairs in the Trump Administration, Monica Crowley, said during a panel discussion that “two years ago, from this stage, I was the very first person ... to raise the possibility that the Democrats might reach for Michelle Obama, and I’ll never forget, the room fell silent, because there was not a peep ... you could hear a pin drop”.

“And then there was a collective gasp across the room ... And I remember saying ‘guys don’t shoot the messenger’. It does us no good to live in wishful-thinking fantasy land – that the Democrats don’t have a plan. They are communists, communists always have a plan,” she added.

‘Don’t ruin catfights’

Framing an imagined battle for the nomination between Ms Obama and Vice President Kamala Harris as a “cat fight,” Matt Boyle of Breitbart said: “Democrats just do whatever they want, and they could make the switch. And if they do that, then they can position Michelle as the reluctant candidate, who really didn’t want to do this, but she needs to save her party and her country, so she’s been reluctantly recruited”.

“If they wait that long, they can run her as a pristine candidate without getting bruised and bloodied up in any kind of her primary. She only would have to run for 10 weeks to November 5. And look, I don’t know if any of this is going to happen. I know it sounds off the wall but what we’ve been through over the last like eight years everything has been off the wall,” he suggested. It’s possible. I don’t know how likely it is. And I hope to God that I’m wrong.”

Columnist Kurt Schlichter responded: “So you see things a little differently from what I do and I have a couple of bones to pick, the first is: catfight Kamala versus Michelle, why are you ruining cat fights for us?”

The Obamas are running the show

Running with the rightwing narrative that Mr Biden is not actually in charge, Ms Crowley said: “Obviously what we’re living through right now is not the Biden administration, this is Obama 3.0.”

“And they installed Joe Biden in there because they knew he was a senile guy and could be a puppet. And so, they’re the ones pulling the strings, the left has a host group of powerbrokers working in conjunction with the deep state, which is real,” she claimed without sharing any facts to back up her bizarre claims.

‘Change your gender like you change your shoes’

Barely 90 seconds were allowed to pass at CPAC between criticisms of progressive ideas on gender.

Lara Trump was quick to join in, saying “When I say it is up to us, the parents, to ensure the safety and the education of our children because whether it’s our kids being forced to attend schools that continue to fail them are kids indoctrinated with critical race theory, or the fabricated notion that you can change your gender like you change your shoes”.

“We must remember it is up to us to protect them because our political leaders have proven they cannot be trusted to do that job,” she added.

‘The law will be used to crush us’

On Friday, former Trump speechwriter and anti-immigration tsar Stephen Miller painted a dark image of the current state of the courts in the US.

“Big broad ... laws will be used to crush us. It will be used to obliterate us – look at what New York did when they went after Donald Trump. They changed the law – which is unconstitutional by the way – to go after one man,” he said in reference to Mr Trump. “If you just have a law change in Florida that says it’s way easier to punish people for defamation ... What the hell do you think is going to happen? Every left-wing trial lawyer in the country is going to move to Florida and sue the hell out of every conservative influencer podcaster [and] everybody else.”

“It’s called the rule of law, not the suggestion of law. Conservatives talk about the phrase rule of law all the time, but they forget the first word in that phrase is rule ... Democrats break the law, you bring it smashing down on them. That’s the rule of law,” he later added.

‘Benevolent billionaire Elon Musk’

Mike Davis, the former Chief Counsel for Nominations to then-Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, argued that “if we did not have a benevolent billionaire with Elon Musk ... making this terrible investment in buying Twitter, we would not have free speech online in this country. And we shouldn’t have to rely on benevolent billionaires to have free speech”.

Donald Trump, juggernaut of justice

Kash Patel, a former Trump administration official, told the crowd “I’m so proud to be at CPAC with so many great Americans who represent Donald Trump’s army to take this country back and that’s what it’s gonna take – an entire army.

“We’re blessed by God to have Donald Trump be our juggernaut of justice, to be our leader, to be our ... warrior in the arena. We have to fill that arena with Americans behind him who are going to take the fight to the mainstream media. We’re going to take the fight to the corporate bureaucracy,” he added.

‘There is something really broken in the conservative brain’

Mr Miller argued that “there is something really broken in the conservative brain”.

“They’re afraid not only of conflict, we know that. But if there’s an even deeper fear [of] having power and using power ... conservatives are addicted to the language of libertarianism. Conservatives pass laws all the time that say ‘do this and don’t do that’ ... but they don’t actually change anything in the real world,” he added.

Defund the UN and push it out of the US

Florida Rep Matt Gaetz continued his long feud with former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who said he “authorised $115bn to Ukraine that we now see sloshing around the money laundering capitals of the world and [we] shouldn’t have any foreign aid to any other country without corresponding cuts to our own bloated federal budget”.

“If you want to send aid to Israel – fine,” he added before calling for “defunding the United Nations – I want the UN to be zeroed on our budget the US should be out of the UN and the UN should be out of the US”.

Far-right influencer calls for ‘end of democracy’

Far-right activist and prominent “Pizzagate” influencer Jack Posobiec hailed the “end of democracy” at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), where prominent Republicans and GOP officials trotted out January 6 conspiracy theories and downplayed the attack on the US Capitol to overturn 2020’s election results.

“Welcome to the end of democracy. We are here to overthrow it completely,” Posobiec said during a panel moderated by former Donald Trump aide Steve Bannon on Thursday.

“We didn’t get all the way there on January 6, but we will endeavour to get rid of it and replace it with this, right here,” he added.

On Friday, he said his plan to “end democracy” included rolling back what he claimed is a list of Democratic policies, part of a “regime that we will overturn”.

Nigel Farage harps on about banking woes at American CPAC conference

Former Brexit Party Leader Nigel Farage continued his bank account saga, complaining that his accounts were closed “because I dared to question net zero, I dared to think leaving the European Union was a good thing. I dared to question globalism”.

“But they wrote in their notes: ‘Don’t worry. He won’t go public on this, because he’ll be embarrassed to do so,’” he added.

“What I tell you what folks, they picked the wrong bloke didn’t they?” he asked the cheering crowd before he bragged about getting “two executive officers sacked”.

“The share price of Britain’s biggest bank fell by 35 per cent,” he claimed. “We have promises from the government, that legislation will change. But you see, I was fortunate in the sense that I’m big enough and ugly enough. I’ve got a voice and I was able to defend myself.”