WASHINGTON – Former President Donald Trump returns to the nation’s capital Tuesday to deliver a “political address” to an organization developing a “political agenda” for the next Republican president, someone many conference delegates clearly want the group to see. be Trump himself.
the America First Policy Institute – created, funded and run by Trump supporters and former administration officials – unveiled an agenda at the conference that sounds all too familiar, including less government regulation, more trade protection and Complete the border wall with Mexico.
“Power in America must be returned to Americans. That was the secret of the Trump administration,” said Brooke Rollins, president and CEO of AFPI, and also a former director of the Trump White House National Policy Council.
In his first trip back to Washington, DC, since leaving office on January 20, 2021, Trump will cap off a two-day conference on an agenda that also includes increasing oil production, opposing abortion, support for law enforcement and most of all, attacks on President Joe Biden and his administration.
Trump, Pence and 2024
Trump delivers his speech at a time when he is considering another presidential campaign in 2024 in the before several investigations into his conduct before, during and after the insurrection of January 6, 2021.
Whether Trump sticks to the policy remains to be seen.
At a series of political rallies across the country, Trump tended to spend most of his time attacking Biden, promoting his administration’s record and continuing to make unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud in his 2020 loss to Biden.
Some Republicans said Trump’s focus on the last election is counterproductive for future GOP candidates, including himself.
That group includes former Trump Vice President Mike Pence, who is also eyeing a 2024 presidential campaign and is also scheduled to speak in Washington, DC on Tuesday.
Pence speaks Tuesday before the Young America’s Foundation, a conservative outreach organization, just hours before Trump’s speech to AFPI. (Pence was supposed to speak Monday at the Heritage Foundation in DC, but that was canceled due to weather and flight delays.)
Trump and Pence also traveled to Arizona on Friday to campaign for Republican gubernatorial candidates. During that day, Pence mocked Trump for his continued complaints about the 2020 election.
“If the GOP gets consumed by yesterday’s grievances, we will lose,” Pence tweeted.
Trump and AFPI
The America First Policy Institute has not endorsed Trump (it is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization and is prohibited from doing so), but delegates frequently cheered and applauded numerous mentions of his name on the first day of the conference, the Monday.
Some Republicans have described AFPI as a Trump administration in waiting. William Kristol, a conservative critic of the former president, said the group “appears to aim to provide an almost intellectual appearance for Trump.”
AFPI officials and delegates to their conference rejected the idea that they belong to Trump. They said they are pushing an agenda that any candidate can use.
“Policies are there for anyone,” said Marc Lotter, AFPI’s director of communications. “We’re putting it out there for anybody.”
AFPI’s first day was devoted to panels on such Trumpian topics as energy production, “safe and secure communities,” foreign policy, and combating the “Washington swamp.”
On Tuesday, hours before Trump’s speech, the policy institute will devote a panel to the former president’s favorite topic: “Making it easy to vote and hard to cheat.”
No talk of January 6
Issues that haven’t come up, and likely won’t come to light: The attack on the Capitol January 6, 2021 and the various investigations into Trump’s efforts to nullify the election. A grand jury in Atlanta and the Justice Department are reportedly investigating different aspects of January 6.
One AFPI speaker, former House Speaker and frequent Trump adviser Newt Gingrich, briefly touched on January 6 in his speech, but only to attack the special congressional committee investigating Trump’s role in the insurrection. He called it a “Stalinist show trial disguised as a congressional hearing.”
Hogan Gidley, a former Trump White House spokesman, said the America First Policy Institute is dedicated to finding “policy prescriptions” that could defeat Biden and the Democrats in the future.
Gidley, who is director of AFPI’s Center for Electoral Integrity, said he did not know if Trump plans to run again, but praised the former president and his record in office.
“Donald Trump made it happen once,” Gidley said. “I am extremely confident that Donald Trump can make it happen again.”
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Donald Trump will give a political speech on Tuesday, including election complaints