In a speech lasting over an hour before a passionate crowd, President Trump touched on a number of topics at CPAC, the largest conservative gathering in the United States.
CP compiled a list of seven major points Trump addressed at the Conservative Political Action Conference at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, Friday morning. They included arguing for concealed carry for teachers who want to be licensed to do so, his thoughts on Billy Graham's legacy, and a snake song about illegal immigration that Trump said people had requested he share at CPAC.
1) Importance of 2018 congressional elections
On multiple occasions, Trump stressed the importance of the 2018 congressional elections, declaring that "we need more Republicans" in Congress.
"We're going to be fighting people who voted against the tax cuts," said Trump. "That's why you have to get out and you have to fight for '18."
Traditionally, first term presidents often find themselves losing seats in Congress. For example, in the 2010 elections while Barack Obama was president, Democrats lost over 50 seats.
2) Allowing teachers to carry concealed guns
The president spoke about last week's mass school shooting in Parkland, Florid, that resulted in 17 people being murdered by a gunman.
Trump argued for allowing teachers to be allowed to carry concealed firearms on campus, echoing earlier arguments from a CPAC speech by National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre on Thursday.
"This would be a major deterrent," said Trump, arguing that having schools be a "gun free zone" makes mass shooters feel safe.
"Why do we protect our airports and our banks, our government buildings, but not our schools? It's time to make our schools a much harder target for attackers."
On Thursday during a White House session on school shootings, Trump said its likely only 20 to 40 percent of teachers nationwide would want to be licensed for concealed carry on campus.
"These would be people that actually would want them. And it would be a small percentage but it would be a lot of people. And once you do this you will have a situation where all of a sudden this horrible plague will stop," Trump said.
3) Faith and family being at the heart of America
Trump spotlighted the value of religious belief for Americans, at one point declaring that "we know that faith and family, not government bureaucracy, are at the center of American life."
"In America, we don't worship government, we worship God," the president said. "Everywhere you go, all over the country, in cities small and large, Americans of all faiths reach out to our Creator for strength, for inspiration, and for healing."
"In times of grief and hardship, we turn to prayer for solace and for comfort."
4) Honoring Billy Graham
In keeping with his comments on the positive value of faith in America, Trump offered kind words for the late Rev. Billy Graham, whom he called "an incredible leader" and a "great man."
"We will never forget the historic crowds, that voice, the energy, and the profound faith of a preacher named Billy Graham," Trump noted.
Earlier this week, Trump also paid his respects to Graham on Twitter, saying that the 99-year-old preacher "will be missed by Christians and all religions. A very special man."
5) The snake song
While speaking about the need for stricter immigration laws, Trump recited the lyrics of a 1960s song by Al Wilson about a kindhearted woman who took in an injured snake only to be bitten by it, part of which includes the following passage:
I saved you, cried that woman
And you've bit me even, why?
You know your bite is poisonous and now I'm going to die.
Oh shut up, silly woman, said the reptile with a grin.
You knew damn well I was a snake before you took me in.
"I don't want people coming into this country with a lottery, I want people coming into this country based on merit," explained Trump.
6) Pulling out of climate change agreements
Trump argued in his remarks before CPAC that it was best to renew the coal industry and approve oil pipelines so that the United States could remain competitive.
Trump described the Paris Climate Accord on climate change as "job-killing" and "totally disastrous," claiming that it made the United States "uncompetitive with other countries."
"China, their agreement didn't kick in until 2030. Our agreement kicks in immediately. Russia, they're allowed to go back into the 1990s, which was not a clean environment time," Trump said.
7) Economic progress
As with previous venues, Trump touted economic progress under his administration, taking credit for many of the positive developments that have occurred over the past year.
"Our economy is blazing. Jobs are at a record level. Jobs are so good. 2.7 million jobs created since the election," Trump said near the conclusion of his speech.
"Unemployment claims have reached a 45-year low. African-American unemployment has reached the lowest level in our history. Hispanic unemployment has reached the lowest level in our history."