Former President Donald Trump, while praising the enthusiastic reaction from the crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference's audience to his speech, told Newsmax TV that he doesn't like to "play games" about who could defeat him for the 2024 GOP nomination, but he "can't imagine" someone else winning, should he decide to run.
"I'm not sure that anybody should be able to win, other than us," Trump told Newsmax TV's Mark Halperin during a back-stage interview at the convention Sunday. "Look, I've done a good job for this party. We had the greatest economy in history, and then we rebuilt it a second time."
The foundations the administration built, he added, "were so strong that no other country could even compete with us in terms of what we've done the second time," or after COVID-19, which he referred to as the "China virus" pandemic.
"We've done a great job, and I think based on the job performance, I'm not sure that anybody should be able to win, other than us," Trump said.
However, he said he has not yet decided to run in 2024, "but I love our country. I'm going to do what's right for our country."
Trump also pointed to the straw poll that was taken at the convention, which showed that 55% of the attendees questioned think he should be the 2024 GOP nominee and said he's "never seen poll numbers like that."
The CPAC reaction, said Trump, "felt good. The crowd is incredible. The enthusiasm is, I think even beyond what we had before the election, and we had great election results more than any presidential candidate's ever gotten, as you know, with the votes, but this crowd is just incredible. They love the country and they just want to see it succeed."
He said he chose to give the speech, rather than leave it to GOP leaders like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell or Rep Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., "because we have to save our nation" from what's going on with the Biden administration.
"We have to stop some of the things that are going on that are so bad for our country," he told Halperin. "When you look at the border, when you look at what's happening with energy independence, when you look at so many different elements of what they're doing, they'll destroy our country."
He said he was asked to make the speech with CPAC, as he's been with the organization "for a long time."
"They've done a fantastic job here," he said. "I thought it would be a great place to express my views. Everybody wanted to hear it. The crowds outside are incredible. The whole place is just alive with energy. They love our country."
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Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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