NATIONAL HARBOR, MARYLAND —
U.S. President Donald Trump touted his "America First" agenda in an address to thousands of conservatives Friday in the third and final day of the Conservative Political Action Conference, held this year just outside Washington.
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Vice President Mike Pence spoke at the event Thursday, telling a throng of fellow conservatives that the Trump White House is in the "promise-keeping business."
Pence was the the most senior Republican so far to speak to the CPAC, the country's biggest yearly gathering of conservatives.
The crowd arrived at the Maryland hotel at National Harbor in an energized mood, with Republicans in control of the White House and Congress for the first time in 10 years.
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In what sounded like a rousing campaign speech, Pence called his boss, President Trump, a man of "conviction, vision and courage" and said Trump is already delivering on the promises he made to the American people during the campaign.
Watch: Top White House officials praise Trump at CPAC
Pence said the media and the Democratic opposition are still trying to dismiss Trump and the conservative movement. But he said this is the time to prove that conservative answers are the best answers for the country - more jobs, less taxes, a strong military and respect for the Constitution.
Earlier Thursday, chief White House strategist Steve Bannon told conservatives they can expect a daily fight with the media and others in the "opposition."
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Bannon said the media opposes Trump's "economic nationalist agenda," warning that "every day is going to be a fight."
Bannon was joined by Trump Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, who called the president a uniter of Republicans and conservatives of different beliefs, pointing to himself and the sharp-tongued Bannon as an example.
"And I've got to tell you, if the party and the conservative movement are together, similar to Steve and I, it can't be stopped," Priebus said.
Pence, Bannon and Priebus were the opening acts for the main attraction at CPAC, when Trump himself speaks to the gathering Friday morning.
Not all Republicans have endorsed Trump's brand of conservatism, and his past appearances at CPAC have drawn mixed reactions. Many of his stated and past positions on issues put him at odds with conservative orthodoxy.
Democrats meet too
While conservative Republicans have gathered in Maryland, opposition Democrats are meeting in Atlanta, where on Saturday they will choose a new leader of the Democratic National Committee.
Tom Perez, former labor secretary in the Obama administration, and U.S. Representative Keith Ellison of Minnesota are the front-runners to lead the party, which is trying to pick up the pieces after November's election losses.
The moderate-voiced Perez has the backing of more mainstream Democrats, while the outspoken Ellison, a Muslim, is supported by the more liberal elements of the party.
But all sides say the Democrats need a leader who can harness the anger and energy coming out of anti-Trump protests and put the party back in control of Congress in next year's midterm elections.