Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro teased a possible third campaign for his country’s top job in a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Saturday.
“In this moment I thank God for my second life and for the mission of being president of Brazil for one term. But I feel deep inside this mission is not over,” he said to the assembled activists through a translator.
Bolsonaro, a populist and polarizing right wing candidate, served one term as president of Brazil before narrowly losing re-election to far left former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva last year.
“I come from a poor family and I never expected to be president of Brazil. But when I witnessed a communist be reelected in my country, I decided to face this challenge,” he said.
Bolsonaro offered up red meat highlights to the crowd, frequently earning huge applause.
“I did not force anyone to be vaccinated in Brazil. They kept saying science, science, science but what I say is freedom freedom freedom,” he said of his position on the issue of vaccine mandates.
“Life from conception was always protected by us from abortion,” he added, while also touting how he had lowered violent crime — something he attributed to his efforts to relax restrictions on gun ownership.
Bolsonaro, whose son Eduardo, also addressed the conference in National Harbor, Maryland, Saturday, said he was eager to hear former President Trump speak later Saturday evening. The two men were frequently compared to each other while they were in office.
“My relationship with President Donald Trump was simply exceptional,” Bolsonaro said.
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