Here are the Dumbest Moments of Turning Point USA’s Confab in Florida

At the far-right group’s youth conference, Trump and his cronies didn’t hold back.

You mad, bro? Donald Trump Jr. puts up his dukes at the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit, Saturday, July 23, 2022, in Tampa, Fla.AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack

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Turning Point USA has emerged as the conservative movement’s MAGA Youth wing—an institution fixated on spreading the right wing gospel among high school and college students, with particular focus on a certain former president/reality TV host. At the group’s annual Student Action Summit in Tampa Bay this weekend, MAGAland’s most prominent pols, PR hacks, and media operatives turned up to fire up an assembly of thousands. It was a bit on the nose when neo-fascists gathered outside the arena, brandishing swastika-emblazoned flags. (Event officials quickly denounced the spectacle as having “nothing to do with TPUSA, our event, or our students.”) Inside, as you might expect of such a confab, things got pretty juvenile. Here are some highlights.

• Eternal 13-year-old Rep. Matt Gaetz (R.Fl.) strutted his misogyny while airing his thoughts on the outrage generated by the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade. “Why is it,” he demanded to know, “that the women with the least likelihood of getting pregnant are the ones most worried about having abortions? Nobody wants to impregnate you if you look like a thumb.”

Gun-mad restaurateur Rep. Lauren Boebert (R.-Colo.) sought to clear up a rumor I had never heard. 

• In perhaps a sly nod to his his own obsequious relationship with Donald Trump, Ted Cruz delivered his pronouns. 

• Professional son Donald Trump, Jr. offered his take on a dire, metastasizing national crisis: his own social-media failures.

• Perhaps energized by the recent primetime hearings exposing his ignominious actions leading up to andon Jan 6, 2020, the Big Guy himself delivered a nearly two-hour harangue playing on familiar themes. Here he marvels at his own Christlike persecution:

Here, he airs his well-worn view on the fake-news media and its cursed awards (“maybe we’ll sue Pulitzer”): 

Here, he airs the fantasy that he actually finished the border wall. 

Perhaps calculating that a youth conference was no place to wonk out, Trump apparently decided not to discuss “Schedule F”—the policy centerpiece of his next presidency, should he retake the Oval Office. Under the plan, recently revealed by Axios’ Jon Swan, Trump would commit a mass purge of the federal bureaucracy, which he’d restock with fresh operatives, much like the youth assembled before him in Tampa Bay. 

However: 

The president did, however, vow to own the libs by running in 2024. “If I stayed home, if I announced that I was not going to run for office, the persecution of Donald Trump would immediately stop,” he declared. “But that’s what they want me to do. And you know what? There’s no chance I do that.”

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Fact:

In-depth journalism that investigates the powerful takes real money and is so damn important right now.But it doesn’t take a Mother Jones investigation to know that billionaires and corporations will never fund the type of reporting (like they do politicians) we do that exists to help bring about change. Instead, our mission-driven journalism is made possible by people power, and has been for 46 years now since our founding as a non-profit.

In “TITLE TK” Monica Bauerlein writes about the perilous moment we’re in, and why it’s so important that we raise $325,000 by the time November’s midterms are decided so we can be ready to throw everything we have at the big issues facing the nation no matter what happens. Please help MoJo’s people-powered journalism with a donation today.

$400,000 to go!

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