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Trump and DeSantis Go Toe-to-Toe in CPAC Straw Poll That Ends in a Blowout

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Former President Donald Trump remains coy on his 2024 plans, but conservatives are making their preference clear.

Trump won the presidential straw poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference, according to Reuters.

Trump received 59 percent of the votes in the straw poll, leading Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who received 28 percent.

Last year, Trump won the January CPAC poll with 55 percent support and won the July CPAC straw poll with 70 percent support.

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If Trump was out of the picture, DeSantis was the overwhelming choice of attendees, with 61 percent of the votes.

“DeSantis, we’d like to keep him as governor here. I want Trump to run and win,” said CPAC attendee Tom Freeman of Florida, where the conference was held.

During his CPAC speech, Trump sounded like a candidate, but as he has in the past avoided any definitive statement on running for president in 2024.

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“We did it twice, and we’ll do it again,” Trump said, according to the New York Post. “We’re going to be doing it again, a third time.”

Trump hammered President Joe Biden’s administration.

“You could take the five worst presidents in American history and put them together, and they would not have done the damage that Joe Biden and his administration has done in just a very short 13 months,” Trump said, according to Newsmax.

“And no matter how you look at it, our country has totally lost its self-confidence, lost its self-confidence. We, as a country, have no confidence anymore,” Trump said.

“But we will get it back, and we’ll get it back stronger than ever before,” he said.

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Trump said Biden “has turned calm into chaos, competence into incompetence, stability into anarchy, and security into catastrophe.”

Trump touched on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“As everyone understands, this horrific disaster would never have happened if our election was not rigged, and if I was the president,” Trump said.

“Very simple: It wouldn’t have happened. Under Bush, Russia invaded Georgia. Under Obama, Russia took Crimea. Under Biden, Russia invaded Ukraine. I stand as the only president of the 21st century on whose watch Russia did not invade another country.”

During his speech, DeSantis lashed out at the media, according to CBS.

“They are not in the business of telling the truth. They want to spin partisan narratives,” DeSantis said.

“They’re defending the regime in power. If you speak up, they’ll defame you. They concoct a blizzard of lies,” he said.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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