PHOENIX, Ariz. – Conservative thought leaders and politicians who traveled to Phoenix for Turning Point USA's AmericaFirst conference told young attendees they need to step up and save the country from the left.
The four-day event, which ran from Saturday through Tuesday and welcomed thousands of young conservatives from across the country, was marked by a sense of optimism. But speakers warned that victories had to be earned.
"The nation is not going to save itself," Charlie Kirk, Turning Point USA founder and president, told those in attendance. "We are living on the last gasp of the sacrifices of the generation that stormed Normandy beach, the last gasp of the generation that gave us this."
According to Kirk, Republicans have "an amazing advantage" over those on the left.
"Their ideas are awful; they tend to be very angry, bitter people," he said. "They're always trying to destroy, and they've never built anything in their life, ever."
"Fight for your country because it's worth it, and we love it," Donald Trump Jr. implored.
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said the "American spirit is strong."
"I learned a long time ago good things in life don't just happen," Jordan told audience members. "If you want to accomplish something, something of significance that has lasting value, something that is real and tangible… it takes time, it takes work, it takes effort, it takes sacrifice, but most importantly it takes a willingness to assume the risk while trying to do something worthwhile.
"The left is fundamentally trying to change the country," Jordan added. "I think it's turning around, I really do. … The American spirit is strong."
Ahead of the midterm elections, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said he is playing his part by "leading the fight stop every dumb-- thing Biden and Pelosi and Schumer are doing" in an attempt to help get more conservatives elected.
"I have focused day and night on winning in 2022, retaking the House and retaking the Senate," Cruz said on stage.
Rep. Burgess Owens, R-Utah, said Biden is showing how bad things are when Democrats are in control and claimed "the people will win" if Republicans "highlight those things that the Biden administration is doing."
"Biden is the best president our country has had in a while, not because he's doing a good thing, but he's showing what it looks like on the far left," Owens told Fox News after he took the stage. "It's no longer hypothetical for us to now understand what defund the police is, what inflation looks like."
"All we have to do is highlight those things that the Biden administration is doing," Owens added. "People will get it, people are feeling it. … As the Republican people, the Republican Party, we must continue to focus on those things that make a difference, and we the people will win."