A golden statue of Donald Trump at this week's Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando reflected the former president's "supreme reign" over the event — despite "auditions for the MAGA mantle" by other 2024 GOP hopefuls," according to the Daily Beast.
"Trump’s presence loomed large throughout the confab even before he was scheduled to deliver Saturday evening’s keynote address," the site reported Friday. "Throughout the conference’s main hall, exhibitors prominently displayed Trump’s likeness to sell their products, including a large golden statue of the former president hawking Patriot Mobile, 'America’s only Christian conservative wireless provider,' along with the usual assortment of MAGA wares including hand-stitched hammocks embroidered with Trump’s name and '45.'"
Meanwhile, rumored presidential hopefuls including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo "pitch(ed) their own vision for America—to an audience that seemingly only wanted to live in Trump’s," according to the Daily Beast.
One CPAC attendee, 76-year-old rancher William Riggle, told the site he made the hour-long drive from Volusia County to see DeSantis, whom he has long supported, speak on Thursday. But Riggle "wasn’t sure he could bear a potential battle between Trump and the Florida governor in 2024."
“Donald Trump has done so much for this country and he's sacrificed so much,” Riggle told the Daily Beast. “We are blessed to have him. If you’re asking me is a toss-up between the two, I really don't have an answer for that.”