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Facing mounting GOP opposition, Trump withdraws from CPAC

March 4, 2016 at 8:11 PM EDT
Republican frontrunner Donald Trump has canceled his scheduled appearance at the ongoing Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C., following concerted efforts by establishment GOP figures to rally the electorate against him. But even when he’s absent, Trump is still front and center in the minds of conference attendees.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Tensions over GOP front-runner Donald Trump are playing out at the Conservative Political Action Conference, CPAC.

Although his campaign canceled the scheduled appearance he had at the annual conservative gathering, he’s top of mind for conference attendees.

REP. TODD ROKITA (R), Indiana: What I’m seeing so far is that people around the country are speaking. They’re sending a message. And, as an elected official, I need to listen. And that’s what I intend to do. That has nothing to do — that doesn’t mean I’m not going to vote for Trump. If he’s our nominee, that’s who I will vote for.

JAY TURLEY, Cruz Supporter: I’m thinking never Trump. I want somebody who’s conservative and that will get government out of the individual people and let us have our liberty.

REP. ROGER WILLIAMS (R), Texas: The opposition is — it’s no choice, you see? So it shouldn’t be never somebody. It should be somebody that’s a conservative that runs on the conservative ticket.

ALEX ROSS, Cruz Supporter: You will notice that he does very well in open primaries, as opposed to closed primaries. Among Republicans, he’s not really that popular and loses when it’s just Republicans, but among Democrats who can come over and vote, well, he wins by a lot.

DUSTIN RIGGINS, Rubio Supporter: I will not vote for Donald Trump if he’s the nominee. This year, I was actually excited. I was looking at Scott Walker. I was looking at a number of different candidates. If Donald Trump wins, I don’t believe he will be very good at all. I just disagree with many of his policies and his often boorish behavior.