Donald Trump Pulls Out of Conservative Conference

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

Emily Molli/ZUMA

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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.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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