College Repub­licans attend CPAC 2018. Stefan Kleinhenz | Col­legian

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — Donald Trump’s usual off-the-cuff manner and per­son­ability was at its best as he addressed the attendees of the Con­ser­v­ative Political Action Con­ference on Friday.

In the hour and 15 minutes he spoke, Trump rallied the audience around the major vic­tories of his admin­is­tration thus far, from tax cuts to jobs to the the removal of a record amount of reg­u­la­tions.

“The policy agenda he laid out was really sound, and he humbled himself to give credit to the admin­is­tration,” senior Razi Lane said. “I appre­ciated the patri­otism in the speech.”

Con­ference attendees packed the room. They said they were eager to be a part of Trump’s his­toric visit. Christopher Benton from Jack­sonville Uni­versity arrived at the Gaylord National Resort and Con­vention Center at 3 a.m. to ensure a good spot at Trump’s 10 a.m. speech.

“I want to be as close as I can to feel the whole Trump effect,” Benton said.

The biggest take away from the speech was Trump’s mas­terful ability to nav­igate the dis­cus­sions over gun vio­lence. He explicitly expressed alliance with his base over the Second Amendment, saying, “There is nobody that loves the Second Amendment more than I do.” However, he quickly fol­lowed with a vow to solve the issue of gun vio­lence in schools, some­thing that had tra­di­tionally been seen as a con­flict with the rights to guns.

“Every child deserves to grow up in a safe com­munity sur­rounded by a loving family and to have a future filled with oppor­tunity and with hope,” the pres­ident said. “Reducing violent crime in America is a top pri­ority for my admin­is­tration. And we will do whatever it takes to get it done. No talk. We’re going to do what it takes to get it done.”

He even sug­gested ideas to arm certain teachers who love their stu­dents and will protect them in times of danger.

Trump also encouraged people not to allow the victory of the pres­i­dency to take away from the need to defend posi­tions in Con­gress. He called people to bring the same energy they showed in 2016 to the upcoming midterm elec­tions in November.

Both Hans Schundler, a freshman at Georgetown Uni­versity, and Jake Lyons, pres­ident of Georgetown College Repub­licans, shared their enthu­siasm of Trump’s suc­cesses so far.

“It is essential in this election to mobilize in 2018 because this is a leg­islative agenda that has momentum,” Schundler said as Lyons excitedly cut him off and began to speak saying,

“He is appeasing all Repub­licans right now, trying to get them together, trying to get that coalition that always dom­i­nates the midterms.”

Trump appeared to be very genuine and down to earth, even joking, saying, “You don’t mind if I go off script, you know it’s kinda boring,” referring to the teleprompter. At the beginning of the speech, he even joked about the “good-looking man” as he noticed himself on the two large screens, and at one point he even recited a poem to high­light his stance on immi­gration.

Early in the speech, a man was removed from the room, as he shouted “Traitor!” Schundler and Lyons were seated next to the man before security escorted him from the ballroom.

“He pre­tended like he was reading a news­paper the whole time,” Lyons said. “When Trump came out and there was a standing ovation, he used that moment to pass out Russian flags with Trump’s name written on them.”

Despite his light­hearted tone for the majority of the speech, Trump had two serious and heartfelt moments. The first was when he announced that the evan­gelist Rev. Billy Graham, who spoke at a CCA in 1984, will be placed in the rotunda of the nation’s capital starting Wednesday at 11 a.m. for a two-day vis­i­tation. He is the first person to receive such honors since Rosa Parks in 2005.  Trump expressed that only a few people are so honored to be placed there, and Graham is very deserving.

“This week, we lost an incredible leader…We will never forget Billy Graham. As a young man he decided to devote his life to God, and as a result changed our country,” the pres­ident said.

Trump con­cluded with a brief mention of new sanc­tions on North Korea that were announced today — they will be the heaviest sanction ever placed on North Korea.

Trump’s parting words left the audience with optimism and hope. Freshman Joy Brower was one of many in atten­dance at CPAC who were impressed and inspired by Trump’s speech.

“I thought Trump con­nected very well with his audience,” she said. “He was engaging as a speaker and touched on issues that really matter. I saw him connect emo­tionally and log­i­cally with the issues, not allowing the heat of a moment to affect his judgment.”