Donald Trump attacked LGTBQ+ people during his Conservative Political Action Conference address on Saturday, claiming that “left-wing lunatics” encouraged drag shows in schools and unfair competition between female and transfemale athletes.
“School prayers are banned, but drag shows are allowed to permeate the entire place,” Trump lamented.
“You can’t teach the Bible, but you can teach kids that America is bad and that men can get pregnant,” he continued.
The president also briefly welcomed Riley Gaines, a former University of Kentucky swimmer who has criticized University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas, who is trans, for competing in the women’s division.
“We will keep men out of women’s sports,” Trump said in his speech, misdescribing trans athletes like Ms. Thomas.
On the podium, Ms. Gaines claimed that “it takes brains, common sense, and understanding at the fifth-grade biology level to realize this is blatantly unfair.”
The swimmer has previously said she felt “extremely uncomfortable” about competing and sharing facilities with Ms Thomas, equate to sexual violence in an interview with The Christian Post in July.
Mr. Trump turned his attacks on LGTBQ+ people into a bigger critique of what he sees as a left-wing takeover of education policy, which also includes critical race theory, an academic concept that is almost never taught in public schools below the university level.
Nevertheless, Mr. Trump said, “If federal bureaucrats are going to push this radicalism, we must abolish the Department of Education,” which caused a huge round of applause.
Elsewhere, Trump’s CPAC comments from Dallas found their way to Democrats like Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema.
“I will go down and campaign against him as hard as anyone can,” Trump said of Mr. Manchin, provoking one of his biggest rounds of applause of the evening.
The former president also claimed that Mr Manchin, who will not be eligible for re-election until 2025, promised not to vote against him in the impeachment process.
“I would never vote against you, you are a great president,” Trump told the senator.
Mr. Manchin voted against Mr. Trump on both of his charges.
The independent has contacted Mr Manchin for comment.
Mr Trump also went after another moderate who was seen as a potential obstacle to the Democratic social spending package, Kyrsten Sinema. In his speech, he suggested that he could also attack her in her home state.
“What happened to Manchin and Sinema?” said Mr Trump. “What happened? We’re trying to figure out what the hell happened. Where did this new philosophy suddenly come from?”
The independent contacted the Arizona senator for comment.