Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Trump snubs CPAC, cancels appearance so he can campaign in Kansas (w/video)

Donald Trump has canceled a scheduled speech today at the Conservative Political Action Conference, snubbing a gathering of activists while possibly averting an ugly media scene.

The American Conservative Union, CPAC's sponsors, announced the snub with a short tweet, following a morning of rumors that Trump would dodge the conference.

"Very disappointed @realDonaldTrump has decided at the last minute to drop out of #CPAC — his choice sends a clear message to conservatives."

In a statement minutes later, Trump's campaign said the candidate had scheduled a Saturday speech in Wichita, hours before Kansas' competitive caucuses begin.

"He will also be speaking at the Kansas Caucus and then departing for Orlando, Fla., and a crowd of approximately 20,000 people or more," Trump's campaign announced. "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 next year, hopefully as President of the United States."

But even a glance around the halls of the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md., suggested that Trump was heading for a disaster. He was scheduled to speak at 8:30 a.m., kicking off a day often sapped of energy by activists straggling in after sleeping off their Friday nights. He was likely to confront a protest or walkout from some activists, including one led by William Temple, a tea party activist.

"We planned one," said Ben Howe, a contributing editor at RedState. "Looks like he heard about it."

He also was more than likely to face an unfamiliar sight on the Trump trail: a half-empty room. Trump's Secret Service protection would have mandated a security checkpoint, and the one laid out for Ben Carson on Friday created a traffic snarl, with activists lining up for 30 minutes or more.

Debate ratings: Fox News drew the highest ratings for a Republican debate since December, with 16.9 million viewers tuning in Thursday night.

The debate reunited front-runner Donald Trump and moderator Megyn Kelly on the stage for the first time since August.

The ratings Thursday represent the fourth-highest viewership for a debate ever. The numbers were significantly higher than the 12.5 million viewers that watched the late January debate on Fox News that Trump refused to join because of Kelly's involvement.

The viewership total also is the largest since CNN's debate in December, which drew more than 18 million viewers. Fox News holds the record for the most-watched primary debate: Its August debate had 24 million viewers.

Information from the New York Times was used in this report.

Trump making 2 stops in Florida

Republican front-runner Donald Trump has two events planned today in Florida. The businessman is expected to appear at a rally on the University of Central Florida's campus in Orlando. The time of that rally has been moved from noon to 2 p.m. He also has a news conference planned at his

Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach at 9 p.m.

Orlando Sentinel and Times wires

Trump snubs CPAC, cancels appearance so he can campaign in Kansas (w/video) 03/04/16 [Last modified: Friday, March 4, 2016 10:10pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Washington Post.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Jameis Winston's hardest lesson: He can't always save the day

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Ever wonder what in the world goes through Jameis Winston's mind when he tries to fit the ball in a keyhole as he is being dragged to the turf like he was during Thursday night's 12-8 preseason win over the Jaguars?

    JACKSONVILLE, FL - AUGUST 17:  Jameis Winston #3 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers attempts a pass during a preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on August 17, 2017 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) 700069805
  2. Despite pain, woman in court faces ex-boyfriend who lit her on fire

    Criminal

    PORT RICHEY

    Sheron Pasco sat in the wheelchair as her mother pushed it toward the man in the orange jail suit.

    Sheron Pasco, 39, right, along with her mother Tranda Webb, 62, pose for a photograph Wednesday, at their home in Port Richey. Pasco's former boyfriend John Riggins doused Pasco with gasoline and set her on fire after an argument last year.. CHRIS URSO   |   Times

  3. Florida starter under center still under wraps

    College

    GAINESVILLE — With two weeks before Florida opens its season against Michigan, the Gators' three-way quarterback battle remains wide open.

    Luke Del Rio, right, is in the mix to start against Michigan in the season opener … as is Malik Zaire and Feleipe Franks.
  4. A sports rout on Wall Street

    Retail

    NEW YORK — Sporting goods retailers can't shake their losing streak.

  5. Rick Kriseman picks Floribbean restaurant for Manhattan Casino

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG— Mayor Rick Kriseman has chosen a controversial restaurant concept to occupy the Manhattan Casino, saying he made a decision 11 days before the mayoral primary because he didn't want politics to get in the way of progress in struggling Midtown.

    Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson speaks during a Friday press conference announcing that the Callaloo Group will open a Floribbean restraurant in the historic Manhattan Casino in St. Petersburg's Midtown neighborhood. Some residents were upset with Mayor Rick Kriseman's choice, saying it will speed up gentrification of the area. [EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times]