Donald Trump Pulls Out of Conservative Conference

The Republican presidential front-runner cancels on CPAC at the last minute.

Emily Molli/ZUMA

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


Donald Trump, the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, canceled his scheduled appearance at one of the largest annual gatherings of conservatives on Friday. Trump was scheduled to speak early Saturday morning at the Conservative Political Action Conference, hosted this year at a hotel conference center outside Washington, DC, but CPAC announced on Twitter that he’d bailed:

CPAC wasn’t exactly prime Trump territory—but nor was it entirely hostile. There was a lonely protester lamenting that Trump would rip apart the party on Thursday. But most CPAC attendees said they weren’t all that concerned by his reluctance to distance himself from a white supremacist, and that they’d still support him in the general election even if their preferred nominee at the moment might be Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio. Over the course of the first day of the conference, the schism in the Republican Party was largely left unmentioned, with speakers shying away from mentioning Trump by name.

But at a watch party for Thursday night’s GOP debate, the crowd tilted heavily toward Cruz and Rubio, jeering each time Rubio attacked Trump. Perhaps Trump’s fans relayed the message and warned him against speaking to a potentially hostile crowd on Saturday.

Update: Trump issued a press release on Friday announcing a rally in Wichita, Kansas and citing it as his reason for withdrawing from CPAC:

The Donald J. Trump for President Campaign has just announced it will be in Wichita, Kansas for a major rally on Saturday, prior to the Caucus. Mr. Trump will also be speaking at the Kansas Caucus and then departing for Orlando, Florida to speak to a crowd of approximately 20,000 people or more. Because of this, he will not be able to speak at CPAC, as he has done for many consecutive years. Mr. Trump would like to thank Matt Schlapp and all of the executives at CPAC and looks forward to returning to next year, hopefully as President of the United States.

MOTHER JONES NEEDS YOUR HELP

We have about a $170,000 funding gap and less than a week to go in our hugely important First $500,000 fundraising campaign that ends Saturday. We urgently need your help, and a lot of help, so we can pay for the one-of-a-kind journalism you get from us.

Learn more in “Less Dreading, More Doing,” where we lay out this wild moment and how we can keep charging hard for you. And please help if you can: $5, $50, or $500—every gift from every person truly matters right now.

payment methods

MOTHER JONES NEEDS YOUR HELP

We have about a $170,000 funding gap and less than a week to go in our hugely important First $500,000 fundraising campaign that ends Saturday. We urgently need your help, and a lot of help, so we can pay for the one-of-a-kind journalism you get from us.

Learn more in “Less Dreading, More Doing,” where we lay out this wild moment and how we can keep charging hard for you. And please help if you can: $5, $50, or $500—every gift from every person truly matters right now.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate