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The Hill
The Hill
24 Feb 2024
Brett Samuels


NextImg:Trump to blast Biden in general election preview at CPAC

Former President Trump will use his keynote speech Saturday at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) to preview lines of attack for an anticipated general election rematch with President Biden, hammering Biden on inflation, immigration and foreign policy.

“The first and most urgent action when we win will be to seal the border, stop the invasion, and send Joe Biden’s illegal aliens back home,” Trump will say, according to excerpts shared exclusively with The Hill.

“But to achieve that future, we first have to throw off the yoke of our out-of-control political class—and that begins with telling Crooked Joe Biden, ‘You’re fired,’” Trump will say.

Trump officials said the former president’s remarks, scheduled for 1 p.m. in Maryland, will be on what his second term would look like in comparison to a potential second term for Biden. 

Trump is expected to harp on inflation, an issue that has dogged Biden for the past two years and contributed to low approval ratings even amid other signs of a strong economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Officials also said Trump will warn of how reelecting Biden could worsen the surge of migrants at the southern border and contribute to additional chaos on the world stage as the White House grapples with war in Ukraine and instability in the Middle East. 

Biden is reportedly considering taking executive action on the border ahead of the State of the Union early next month in lieu of congressional action, but Trump officials said the former president plans to dismiss those efforts as lip service that will not satisfy voters who disapprove of Biden’s handling of the border.

The former president is expected to cite his first term policies on the economy and immigration to argue he could get the country back on track if elected in November, officials said.

Trump has spoken at CPAC for several consecutive years, and some of his recent appearances have been among his lengthiest and most raucous speeches. Trump last year told the CPAC crowd, “I am your retribution,” but officials said this year Trump will tell supporters that the country’s success “will be my ultimate and absolute revenge.”

Polling averages from The Hill/Decision Desk HQ show Trump leading Biden by roughly 2 percentage points in national polls. Recent polls have shown Biden leading Trump in Pennsylvania, with the former president narrowly ahead in states like Michigan and Georgia.

The former president’s remarks will come on the same day as the South Carolina primary, where polling indicates he will coast to a landslide victory over Nikki Haley in her home state where she served as governor from 2011-2017.

Trump handily won the first three primary contests in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada, and he is leading in the polls in Super Tuesday states and beyond. Despite that, Haley has said she will not drop out of the race and has grown increasingly critical of Trump. 

She has pointed to general election polls that show her leading Biden by a wider margin than Trump in a hypothetical matchup to make the case that nominating Trump is too risky.

But Trump officials said they view Saturday as the final day they will devote significant time and effort to attacking Haley, predicting she will lose by double digits in South Carolina and face no realistic path to victory in any state moving forward.

“She’s not really attacking me, she’s really attacking the Republican Party,” Trump said at a Friday rally in South Carolina. “So a vote for Nikki Haley tomorrow is a vote for Joe Biden in November.”