In a speech at CPAC, Trump will describe a successful US in the midst of a second term

As voters in South Carolina head to the polls in just the fifth contest for the nomination in the Republican presidential race, former President Donald J. Trump will deliver a speech Saturday afternoon near Washington, where he is expected to focus largely on his expected general-election contest. against President Biden.

According to senior campaign officials, Mr. Trump will use his remarks at the Conservative Political Action Conference, known as CPAC, to expand on a vision he has evoked since 2020: that the United States is destined for a bleak future under President Biden and other Democrats.

But while Mr. While Trump has expressed his vision of the United States in mostly dark terms during his third term, his speech at CPAC will present a brighter vision of the country created by Trump’s second term, said the officials, who requested anonymity to discuss campaign strategy.

“If we can pull ourselves out of this Biden nightmare, we have the power to make America richer, safer, stronger, prouder and more beautiful than ever before,” Mr. Trump is expected to say, according to prepared remarks he shared with The New York Times. “To lift millions out of poverty. To give young people hope for the future again. To forge peace from conflict, strength from hardship, and new industry from the ruins of abandoned cities.”

Such language is significantly more optimistic than Trump’s recent rhetoric on the campaign trail, where he claimed his political opponents were a pernicious “threat from within” determined to destroy core American values.

During his 2024 bid, Mr. Trump portrayed the United States under the Biden administration as a nation in steep decline. Much of his speech focuses on denouncing Mr. Biden’s policies and insisting that he will stop them altogether if he wins re-election.

Underlying the call was a sense of nostalgia: Mr Trump has explicitly said he wants to renew and build on the policies of his four years in office, particularly on immigration.

But Trump campaign officials said Trump’s speech at CPAC was meant to be forward-looking. First, he will paint a dark vision of what he sees as the future under Mr. Biden. Then he will present the road map for the second term.

As part of his speech, Mr. Trump will vow to “dump Bidenomics” and “reinstate MAGAnomics,” an effort to redefine terms Mr. Biden has used to promote his economic policies and denigrate Mr. Trump’s.

Mr. Biden has often argued that he has been a better steward of the economy than Mr. Trump, whom he portrays as undermining working-class Americans. Under Mr. Biden, the economy grew 3.1 percent from the end of 2022 to the end of 2023.

Mr Trump will also take aim at Mr Biden’s efforts to combat climate change, saying “our economy will run out of energy” and “millions of manufacturing jobs will be choked into extinction,” adding: “You’re going to have constant blackouts and skyrocketing inflation.” ”

Trump’s focus on Mr. Biden will be a stark contrast to the main political event of the day: his effort to defeat Nikki Haley, his lone remaining primary challenger, in South Carolina and deliver a humiliating blow that could force her out of the race.

But the CPAC speech will be one of several recent signals that Mr. Trump has turned his sights on the November general election, shifting his message from one designed to rally his conservative base to one that can win over undecided voters in battleground states.

Last year at CPAC, Mr. Trump promised his followers that he would be their “revenge.” On the campaign trail, he promised to use the Justice Department to investigate, if not prosecute, his political opponents.

But Mr. Trump has reneged on those pledges ahead of polls showing non-Republican voters worry he poses a threat to democracy.

And so during this year’s CPAC speech, Mr. Trump is expected to say that President Biden “will be judged at the ballot box this November, and the American people will judge and condemn him.”

And he will repeat a more recent revenge claim designed to reassure key voters in November: that his “final and absolute revenge” will be the success of America under a second Trump administration.

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