PALM BEACH, Fla. — In a speech to college students and conservative Americans on Saturday evening, former President Donald Trump promised that he would not allow the United States to head into a third world war.
“I’m the only one that can make this promise,” Trump said, amid concerns over President Joe Biden’s approval of the mobilization of reserve forces for potential duty in the Russia-Ukraine war. “It’s a big promise, especially for you in this room, because you are young. You have a big life ahead of you. I will prevent World War III.”
Trump spoke in Palm Beach, Florida, at the Turning Point USA Action Conference, an event the organization billed as the most important political conference of the summer. The conference featured six GOP presidential hopefuls, including Trump, as well as lesser-known candidates like businessmen Ryan Binkley and Perry Johnson.
During an interview with The Daily Signal, TPUSA founder Charlie Kirk said that former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, former Vice President Mike Pence, Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis were invited to the conference but opted not to attend: “Every candidate was invited. [Democrat] Bobby Kennedy was invited! We have 6,000 people here.”
“Apparently, Ron DeSantis has something better to do than to speak to 6,000 people in his home state,” he added.
In a statement to The Daily Signal, DeSantis press secretary Bryan Griffin said that the governor is “campaigning to win.”
“Governor DeSantis spent the day with Iowans and spoke to a packed house at the Tennessee GOP Statesman Dinner later that night,” Griffin said. “This was a day after he delivered the strongest interview at the Family Leadership Summit, which Donald Trump notably skipped.”
Conservative stars such as Tucker Carlson and Megyn Kelly also delivered remarks Saturday , amid TPUSA’s signature thunderous hype music and to massive applause from the audience.
During his remarks Saturday night, Trump promised to “totally obliterate the deep state” upon his return to the Oval Office. He also promised to strip federal funding from schools that force vaccine mandates upon children and students. “If you have a vaccine mandate, from kindergarten through college, you don’t get anything,” he said.
The former president assured the audience that the 2024 election will be the most important of their lifetimes.
“With your country, your freedom, and your future on the line, we are in trouble,” he said. “This country is in trouble. The election will decide whether your generation inherits a fascist country or a free country; whether you will have a rule of tyrants or a rule of law.”
“Whether Marxist radicals burn our civilization to the ground, which they are looking to do, or young patriots like you propel America to glorious new heights greater than ever before,” he emphasized. “Side by side, we are going to fight, and we are going to win.”
“We have no choice, actually,” Trump said.
Mary Margaret Olohan is a senior reporter for The Daily Signal, where this first appeared. She previously reported for The Daily Caller and The Daily Wire, where she covered national politics as well as social and cultural issues.