NATIONAL HARBOR, Md.—Trump campaign adviser Mercedes Schlapp made the case against socialism at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday, offering a rallying cry of sorts when she said bluntly: “Socialism sucks.”
Schlapp opened her CPAC address blasting socialism and warning that Republicans must “stop it in its tracks.”
“We live in the greatest country in the world,” she said. “Our democracy is fragile, our democracy is so dear to all of us, our freedoms are fragile, and what we have seen in history, is that those freedoms can be swiftly taken away from the individual. We’ve seen it country after country.”
“Our democracy and freedom is under threat. And we have an obligation to save America from this horrible ideology of socialism,” she continued. “As we know, socialism leads to communism.”
CPAC 2020, which kicked off Wednesday, is centered around what organizers described as an “America vs. Socialism” theme that aims to hammer away the leftward drift of the Democratic Party—especially its presidential field, as Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., a self-described democratic socialist, emerges as the primary front-runner.
“We stand for faith. We stand for family. We stand for country,” Schlapp said Thursday. “And that is what President Trump does every day when he stands against the fake news, the Democrats trying to take him down, and when he stands against socialism in America.”
She added: “I ask each and every one of you…do not be silent, because a socialist, they want you to be silent. They want to intimidate you.”
The conference, which lasts through Saturday, targets sensitive political territory for the Democrats, whose internal battle over big-government policies was on full display at Tuesday night's primary debate in South Carolina. Sanders took heat from rivals over his praise of Cuba's Fidel Castro and the eye-watering price tags on his proposed policies.
The annual conservative gathering will feature speeches and presentations from Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Republican lawmakers, White House officials and others from Trump’s reelection campaign.