Pres­ident Donald Trump adresses the Con­ser­v­ative Political Action Con­ference on Friday. Peyton Bowen | Courtesy

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — In a speech at the Con­ser­v­ative Political Action Con­ference on Feb. 23, Hillsdale College Pres­ident Larry Arnn dis­cussed the roots of con­ser­vatism and claimed that Pres­ident Donald Trump, at least in his rhetoric, has stayed true to it.

Arnn spoke about the first prin­ciples that define con­ser­vatism, namely that all men are created equal and that gov­ern­ments are insti­tuted to secure the lib­erties of all indi­viduals. He argued the admin­is­trative state is the greatest threat to this equality and liberty, but he said he believes Trump will fight against it.

“What I’m trying to con­serve and also restore is those original arrange­ments — the best in human history,” Arnn said of the Con­sti­tution.

Last week, 45 Hillsdale stu­dents attended CPAC with the Hillsdale College Repub­licans, where many heard from con­ser­v­ative leaders, including Trump; saw protests; and encoun­tered the alt-right spokesman Richard Spencer.

Shortly after Spencer entered the con­vention hall at CPAC, security guards escorted him out of the building.

CPAC spokesman Ian Walters told National Public Radio that CPAC offi­cials ejected Spencer from the con­ference because he was per­ceived as a dis­ruptive force.

“A major event like CPAC should be open to sharing ideas and debating one’s oppo­nents in a civ­i­lized way,” Spencer told The Col­legian. “I pur­chased a ticket and acted in a polite and cour­teous manner, and many jour­nalists and attendees alike were inter­ested in my ideas. Those who ini­tiated my expulsion had the perfect oppor­tunity to chal­lenge those ideas but chose to ban them instead.”

Before being escorted out, Spencer watched Arnn address the con­ference around 10 a.m. Spencer crit­i­cized Arnn on Twitter, saying Arnn was a “nice gen­tleman” but that his “fud­dy­duddy” approach was insuf­fi­cient because “we live in rev­o­lu­tionary times.”

Spencer missed Trump address the con­ference about 24 hours later.

Trump spoke to a full-capacity crowd Friday morning, reit­er­ating his com­mitment to cam­paign promises on policy, while fueling his feud with the media.

“One by one, we’re checking off the promises we made to the people of the United States,” Trump said. “We will not stop until the job is done. We will reduce your taxes, we will cut your reg­u­la­tions, we will support our police, we will defend our flag.”

Geraldine Davie, 76, from Vir­ginia — who lost her 23-year-old daughter in the terror attacks on 9/11 — com­pli­mented Trump’s position on ISIS and found the “vintage Trump” speech to be the perfect balance of enter­tainment and infor­mation.

“That morning altered my life forever,” Davie said of 9/11. “I have not seen anybody in this country stand up to radical Islam like this pres­ident, and he is to be com­mended for that. I will follow him and make sure he stays on that tra­jectory and keeps us cit­izens safe.”

About 20 demon­strators stood outside the con­ference and protested Trump and his policies, while the pres­ident spoke.

The group came from Prince George’s County Democrats, said the group’s leader, Jessica Semachko, 33, from Mitchel­lville, Maryland. The demon­strators crit­i­cized Trump’s immi­gration policy and his attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Oba­macare.

“We heard on Tuesday that Pres­ident Trump was going to be speaking at the CPAC con­ference, and we felt it was important that people from the com­munity shine a light on the real Trump agenda of mil­i­ta­rized immi­gration raids, repeal of healthcare — the impact that will have on our com­munity,” Semachko said.

On Friday afternoon, just hours after Trump spoke, Hillsdale College part­nered with Facebook, the Lead­ership Institute, and Townhall Media to hold a mixer for mil­len­nials.

“We are all part of encour­aging the younger folks here to dream big and to help each other and support each other because what they do and who they are are what make this country great.” Townhall’s external rela­tions director Amanda Muñoz said.