Last minute Trump appearance sends press scrambling
February 10th, 2011
05:59 PM ET
3 years ago

Last minute Trump appearance sends press scrambling

Washington (CNN) - The unsettled and wide-open state of the 2012 Republican presidential primary race has a fidgety Washington press corps jumping at every new rumor, trial balloon and incremental tidbit emerging from the mouths of the potential candidates and their advisers.

Enter The Donald.

Donald Trump's last minute decision to appear Thursday at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington managed, for a few bizarre minutes, to transform a handful of otherwise discerning political journalists into crazed pack of humanity scrambling around a Washington hotel for the brief chance to speak to the real estate mogul and reality TV star who, for yet another election cycle, is professing to be serious about running for president.

Reporters from CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Daily Caller, among others, were given a late heads up Thursday afternoon that Trump would take some questions before his speech to the thousands of conservative activists jammed into the Marriott Wardman Park hotel for the annual conference.

Trump showed up at the invitation of GOProud, the pro-gay Republican organization welcomed by CPAC officials as a "participating organization" - a decision that angered several influential social conservative groups now boycotting the event.

GOProud staffers told the media that Trump would meet them in an upstairs suite that featured plate of barely touched Cosi sandwiches, some drinks and a decorative fruit basket.

After milling about for nearly an hour because Trump was late landing at Dulles Airport in Virginia, the press pack was suddenly informed that the man of the hour was "one minute away" and that he would take questions in a lobby near the front entrance of a separate hotel tower.

Off the reporters and CNN photographers went, cramming into a small elevator to head downstairs and then zooming across the sprawling hotel to meet Trump as he arrived to bask in the glow of some early, and perhaps unrealistic, presidential buzz.

The directive to set up in the lobby, though, was apparently incorrect - no one was told why - and the reporters were sent back up the hallway from whence they came to wait in a different lobby. Wrong again. The press then trekked back and forth down the same corridor two more times as GOProud staffers and security provided conflicting directions, with Trump en route.

Richard Mourdock, a likely Republican Senate candidate in Indiana, happened to be seated along the hallway with several aides who gradually watched the spectacle unfold with a mix of confusion and amusement. The same was true for a handful of advisers to Mitt Romney, another Republican regarded as a more viable potential candidate, lingering nearby.

And suddenly, Trump arrived in all his splendor: scowling face, glorious comb-over, hands shoved in his coat pockets and backlit by another clutch of television cameras who happened to catch his arrival and trailed him up the hallway into the second lobby where the press had settled.

Trump stopped, as if emerging from a closed-door meeting on Capitol Hill, to finally meet the waiting reporters - for all of 48 seconds.

"I am a Republican," he said when asked if he truly plans to embark on a White House bid. "Let's see what happens."

After he briefly responded to two more questions, Trump's entourage called an end to the press conference and whisked him through the gaggle and into an elevator that took him up to the hotel suite for a few moments of peace before his big speech.


Filed under: CPAC 2011 • Donald Trump
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Kara

    'glorious combover'? I know he gave you guys an interview yesterday, but let's not get carried away!

    February 10, 2011 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  2. Zackal

    Must be another installment of Celebrity Apprentice coming up soon as the master of the media has the scribes and talking heads buzzing about. Trump running for President is like Lucy with the football with Charlie Brown. Charlie gets suckered in every time and Trump does the same thing to the gullible media.

    He would never run because he would never win and couldn't do the job because he is used to running his own ship.

    Bye bye Donald until next season of Celebrity Apprentice.

    February 10, 2011 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  3. Roy

    The circus has come to town!

    February 10, 2011 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  4. PalmReader

    "Trump stopped, as if emerging from a closed-door meeting on Capitol Hill, to finally meet the waiting reporters – for all of 48 seconds."

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA . . . how utterly FOOLISH our American media has become. Keep dumbing us down, guys. Those who eat this stuff up deserves WHOMEVER becomes the Republican presidential candidate, and then some.

    February 10, 2011 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  5. VA is for Lovers

    LMAO...Trump needs to sit down. That's all this country needs is a POTUS with a weave! We will REALLY be the laughing stock of the world. Note to TRUMP...show that you got the balls to comb your hair right or maybe even Go BALD like the good Lord designed you! Then, maybe , will we believe that you got what it takes to run this country. You can't even look at yourself, why in the hell do you think we would want to look at you!

    Hey at least he's not talking that "family values" crap. Becasue we all know his views on family, ONCE THE WIFE GETS OVER 25 IS ON TO THE NEXT ONE!!! LMAO

    February 10, 2011 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  6. usa/canada

    your fired! you apprentice you

    February 10, 2011 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  7. rusty155

    Nobody want this bald headed with a mop on his head for President. Just like his T.V.show you are fired.

    February 10, 2011 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  8. Skokie

    Trump please get this straight.. You are Fired.

    February 10, 2011 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  9. Trevor

    It must be a slow news day when you scurry like dogs in a Pavolian experiment salivating after a bone-head like the Donald.

    February 10, 2011 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  10. CBR

    The Republican list of potential candidates is long and varied. They applauded remarks made by Michele Bachmann who just might run for President. Then a whole cast of characters will pass through and give speeches including Donald Trump. there will be no end to those who want media coverage which should keep the press pretty busy.

    A lot of money will be spent on and for politicians. Just the beginning of the race for financial backing. Just think if that money was spent fixing problems – whoops that may just be too practical.

    February 10, 2011 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  11. hwy9

    What a circus. You just gotta love the GOP for the lovable bunch of buffoons that they are.

    February 10, 2011 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  12. blake

    I really hope the Republican nominating process does not turn into a circus in 2012. Obama is very beatable and needs to be removed from office as one of the most dangerous and far left presidents in U.S. history. But the Republicans are failing to exploit the opportunity. People like Palin and Trump are turning this into a joke. We need a credible conservative candidate.

    February 10, 2011 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  13. ross

    He would make a great VP candidate for Palin,

    February 10, 2011 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  14. LouAz

    Typical . . . it's is really about the reporters, isn't it ?

    February 10, 2011 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  15. NameTK

    Give me a break! Laughable.

    February 10, 2011 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  16. Sgt Schultz

    Why not? The rest of the pack of GOP stooges aren't any better. I'd like to see Ron Paul get nominated to shake things up. The Republican "Establishment" stinks...even Republicans know it.

    February 10, 2011 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  17. T'sah from Virginia

    The press STUMP for the TRUMP!! For what???

    February 10, 2011 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  18. kayla

    they are all wannabees

    February 10, 2011 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  19. fayse

    Trump is an idiot. Marriage scandals, bankruptcies and ruthless to boot.

    February 10, 2011 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  20. corona kid

    Is it possible to close the borders to New York and not let Trump back in? Find him a nice burg out in Kentucky or Kansas to hang out in and we'll ship some lox and bagels every few months.

    February 10, 2011 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  21. Marie MD

    The world, at least the US, continues to be flushed the toilet that is the party of no.

    February 10, 2011 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  22. vic nashville tn

    He is Trump we don’t When , Where he will appear

    February 10, 2011 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |