After Thursday night’s GOP presidential debate, CPAC would have been a perfect opportunity for Donald Trump to change the primary conversation. Sadly for conference-goers, the front runner won’t be present.
In a statement posted to Facebook on Friday afternoon, the Trump campaign said this:
The Donald J. Trump for President Campaign has just announced it will be in Wichita, Kansas for a major rally on Saturday prior to Caucus. He will also be speaking at the Kansas Caucus and then departing for Orlando, Florida and a crowd of approximately 20,000 people or more. 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 to next year, hopefully as President of the United States.
Though it’s unlikely there will be too much of a drop off in attendance, the organizers themselves are clearly disappointed:
Very disappointed @realDonaldTrump has decided at the last minute to drop out of #CPAC — his choice sends a clear message to conservatives.
— CPAC (@CPAC) March 4, 2016
Kevin Dawson is Deputy Operations Manager for the American Principles Project.