National Harbor, Md. — William Temple, the tricorn-hat-wearing revolutionary who led a high-profile walkout of Jeb Bush’s speech at 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference, is setting his musket sights on a new target this year.
“We’re having massive walkout on Saturday when [Trump] comes to speak,” Temple, clad in Revolutionary War garb and cloaked in a faded-yellow Gadsden Flag, tells National Review. “We already have over 300 people who are going to get up at one time to go the bathroom.”
Both CPAC speakers and the conservative rank-and-file are quietly anxious over Trump’s surging campaign, worrying their ideology is being supplanted by craven political opportunism. But while many have tiptoed around the billionaire real-estate mogul’s looming presence, Temple plans to confront it head-on Saturday morning.
“We’re not going to put up with him,” Temple says. “He reminds me of Mussolini — he was quoting Mussolini the other day and didn’t even know it. But this man is totally consumed with self. He wants glory. He wants to be seen as this potentate that everyone he loves. He can’t stand it if anyone opposes him.”
Temple’s plan to snub Jeb at CPAC 2015 forced the Bush campaign to bus in supporter to attend his speech. He expects Trump’s campaign to respond similarly as news gets out of this year’s planned boycott.
And despite the anti-Trump angst, he doesn’t think CPAC’s organizers are particularly thrilled with his plan to needle Trump. “They took my flagpole away,” he says, alluding to the massive Gadsden flag he waved while leading protesters out of Bush’s 2015 address. “In fact, now you’re not even supposed to have a costume. Every year the CPAC becomes more like the inside-the-Beltway Congress.”
Still, Temple’s not without his well-dressed allies in rebellion. “I’m hoping George Washington gets in later today,” he says, looking around the crowded convention hall hopefully.