NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. – Republican grassroots leaders and members of Congress attending the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) are torn between their suspicions about Donald Trump’s conservative bona fides and their desire to burn down the party establishment that is frantically trying to block the billionaire’s path to the nomination.
Trump — who dramatically dropped out of CPAC on Friday afternoon, earning a stern rebuke from the conference conveners — had scarcely been mentioned in the formal speeches at CPAC.
But in private conversations held in the corridors, cafes and restaurants at the Gaylord Resort and Convention Center, the bombastic billionaire, who leads the Republican race for president, was the near-universal topic of conversation.
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