Maggie Haberman at Politico (excerpts):
The real-estate mogul with a genius for self-promotion gave the most-acclaimed — and most colorful — speech at the conservative gathering this afternoon, from the moment he took the stage to the song “Money, Money, Money.”
With no visible sense of irony, he slammed libertarian Ron Paul as a losing hopeful who can’t capture the brass ring and got booed by some for it, said our current president came ‘out of nowhere,” and quoted a business magazine’s story about what a terrific entrepreneur he himself is.
Yet he was by far the best-received speaker and the audience lapped up his act, as he read some of a prepared speech and used his hands to punctuate his words. He also hit on social issues “briefly,” as he said, saying he’s pro-life and anti-gun control. He said he’d dismantle Obama’s health care law.
Supporters of Paul, who are notoriously rabid in defending him and whose son, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, was the next speaker, booed wildly when he said, “by the way, Ron Paul can’t get elected, I’m sorry. … I like Ron Paul, I think he is a good guy but honesty he just has zero chance of getting elected and I can tell you this, if I run and if I win this country will be respected again”:
The pro-Paul boos were outdone by applause from people who ate the speech up.
In addition to the issues mentioned in the Politico article, Donald Trump is known as a trade protectionist. In contrast, Ron Paul is a defender of free trade, although he opposes existing trade agreements on the theory that they are globally managed trade, not true free trade. Some additional views of Donald Trump (some of which may have changed since then) here. Ron Paul from the same source. According to the wikipedia discuss page, Trump opposes foreign aid, believes Communist China should be treated as an enemy and subjected to large import tariffs, contributed to Rahm Emanuel’s candidacy and has refused to take a stance on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Ron Paul was the 1988 Libertarian Party presidential candidate, and remains a life member of the Libertarian Party, saying recently that “I believe the Libertarian Party has done a great service in promoting the libertarian philosophy, and I continue to have many friends and supporters in the Libertarian Party…”
It is interesting that two of the candidates for the Republican nomination who are inspiring the most interest at this conference have alternative (“third”) party connections.
For other CPAC 2011 reporting at IPR, see