As the star speaker at this weekend’s Conservative Political Action Conference, Donald Trump attacked transgender people and several fellow Republicans, continued to deny that he lost his bid for reelection as president, hinted that he might run again, and spread his usual spate of lies.
“Joe Biden and the Democrats are even pushing policies that would destroy women’s sports,” Trump said, making a common and false accusation about the effects of trans inclusion. “A lot of new records are being broken in women’s sports. Hate to say that, ladies, but you’ve got a lot of new records being shattered.”
For female weightlifters, he said, “every ounce is like a big deal for many years,” as he pantomimed lifting a weight. Then, “all of a sudden somebody comes along and beats it by a hundred pounds,” he added.
“Young girls and women are incensed that they are now being forced to compete against those who are biological males,” he went on. “It’s not good for women. It’s not good for women’s sports, which worked for so long and so hard to get to where they are.”
“What coach, as an example, wants to recruit a young woman to compete if her record can easily be broken by somebody who was born a man?” he said.
In reality, while some trans females are indeed performing well in women’s sports, they’re hardly edging cisgender athletes out. Trans women have been eligible to compete in the Olympics for several years, with the requirement that they have undergone at least a year of testosterone suppression, but there has never been an openly trans Olympic champion. And there are many factors other than hormones that can give advantages to an athlete, trans or cis, such as body size, access to training, and more.
“Saving” women’s sports has become a rallying cry for Trump and other anti-trans forces, and it fits rather oddly with his history of demeaning women and even bragging about sexually assaulting them, along with his opposition to reproductive freedom, which has won him the support of the religious right.
During his Sunday speech at the conservative gathering in Orlando, Trump called out every Republican member of Congress who supported his impeachment on charges of inciting the deadly January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol (he was acquitted) and urged voters to oust them. He claimed to have won reelection in November and dropped a hint that he would run for president again in 2024. “Who knows, I may even decide to beat [Democrats] for a third time,” he said.
Besides spreading falsehoods about the election results, he made his usual bizarre and baseless statements about several other things. These include saying the use of wind power to produce electricity means you won’t be able to watch TV when the wind isn’t blowing; that the U.S. has the cleanest air and water ever; and that Biden is the most corrupt president in the nation’s history and is promoting measures that would destroy jobs and elevate other countries’ interests above America’s.
Above all, the speech saw Trump reassert his place as leader of the Republican Party, as several political commentators have observed. That’s apparently what many Republicans, at least CPAC attendees, want. A straw poll of attendees on potential 2024 presidential candidates, conducted just before Trump took the stage, found that 68 percent want him to run again and 55 percent would vote for him, The Washington Post reports.
Video of the full speech is below, and a transcript is here.