Republican frontunner and bombastic billionaire Donald Trump was scheduled to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Saturday. CPAC is the largest gathering of conservatives in the country and typically a place during a presidential election year that Republicans candidates put as a top priority. After all, they’re able to speak to tens of thousands in attendance and hundreds of thousands more who watch via live stream online.
Despite the fact that he was a confirmed speaker at CPAC, Donald Trump announced on Friday that he is going back on his promise to grassroots conservatives to speak and will no longer be attending.
Trump claims that the reason he is canceling his appearance is because he instead has decided to campaign in Kansas where he currently holds a narrow lead over constitutional conservative Ted Cruz 35 – 29.
In a statement, the campaign explained their reason for canceling his 8:30 am speech on Saturday, or at least what they are relaying to people.
The Republican presidential front-runner has two rallies in Michigan and one in Louisiana planned for Friday. On Saturday, Trump has announced a newly scheduled rally in Kansas, where voters will be caucusing that day. He finishes Saturday at a rally in Orlando.
“Because of this, he will not be able to speak at CPAC as he has done for many consecutive years,” the Trump campaign said in a statement. “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.”
CPAC officials tweeted their disappointment in Trump’s decision.
— CPAC (@CPAC) March 4, 2016
Despite the rationale relayed by the Trump campaign, the word around CPAC is that Trump’s decision to cancel his appearance is due to a planned walk-out protest during his speech. In addition, numerous speakers at CPAC targeted Trump with criticism during their speeches on Thursday night.