Donald Trump made his Colorado debut Friday morning as a presidential candidate, and he predicted “a tremendous victory” in the state in November.

Trump spoke at the Western Conservative Summit, billed as the largest gathering of conservatives outside Washington. More than 4,000 people attended the event at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, a production of a Centennial Institute think tank housed at Colorado Christian University.

Trump spoke about how he has attracted large crowds at rallies across the country, but hundreds of chairs were empty in the large hall.

Trump touched on familiar campaign themes, including gun rights and the U.S. Supreme Court, and he said Colorado will be important in November.
  • Michael Reaves, The Denver Post

    Protesters during Donald Trump's campaign stop in Denver Friday, July 1, 2016. (Michael Reaves, The Denver Post)

  • RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post

    DENVER, CO - JULY 01: Donald J. Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential candidate headlines the 2016 Western Conservative Summit at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, July 01, 2016. It is the 7th annual Western Conservative Summit. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post)

  • RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post

    DENVER, CO - JULY 01: Donald J. Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential candidate headlines the 2016 Western Conservative Summit at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, July 01, 2016. It is the 7th annual Western Conservative Summit. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post)

  • RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post

    DENVER, CO - JULY 01: Dede Laugesen takes a photo of Donald J. Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential candidate, as he walks on stage during the 2016 Western Conservative Summit at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, July 01, 2016. It is the 7th annual Western Conservative Summit. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post)

  • RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post

    DENVER, CO - JULY 01: Donald J. Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential candidate headlines the 2016 Western Conservative Summit at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, July 01, 2016. It is the 7th annual Western Conservative Summit. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post)

  • Michael Reaves, The Denver Post

    Protesters during Donald Trump's campaign stop in Denver Friday, July 1, 2016. (Michael Reaves, The Denver Post)

  • Michael Reaves, The Denver Post

    Protesters during Donald Trump's campaign stop in Denver Friday, July 1, 2016. (Michael Reaves, The Denver Post)

  • Michael Reaves, The Denver Post

    Police patrol during Donald Trump's campaign stop in Denver Friday, July 1, 2016. (Michael Reaves, The Denver Post)

  • RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post

    DENVER, CO - JULY 01 Former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin speaks during the 2016 Western Conservative the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, July 01, 2016. It is the 7th annual Western Conservative Summit. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post)

  • RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post

    DENVER, CO - JULY 01 Former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin speaks during the 2016 Western Conservative Summit the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, July 01, 2016. It is the 7th annual Western Conservative Summit. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post)

  • RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post

    DENVER, CO - JULY 01: Secret service looks over the stage as Sarah Palin speaks the 2016 Western Conservative Summit the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, July 01, 2016. It is the 7th annual Western Conservative Summit. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post)

  • RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post

    DENVER, CO - JULY 01 Former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin speaks during the 2016 Western Conservative Summit the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, July 01, 2016. It is the 7th annual Western Conservative Summit. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post)

  • RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post

    DENVER, CO - JULY 01: A man wears his red, white, and blue socks the 2016 Western Conservative Summit the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, July 01, 2016. It is the 7th annual Western Conservative Summit. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post)

  • RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post

    DENVER, CO - JULY 01 Former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin speaks during the 2016 Western Conservative Summit the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, July 01, 2016. It is the 7th annual Western Conservative Summit. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post)

  • RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post

    DENVER, CO - JULY 01 Former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin speaks during the 2016 Western Conservative Summit the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, July 01, 2016. It is the 7th annual Western Conservative Summit. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post)

  • RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post

    DENVER, CO - JULY 01: Crystal Gallimore, of Fort Collins, waits to see Donald J. Trump and Sarah Palin during the 2016 Western Conservative Summit the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, July 01, 2016. It is the 7th annual Western Conservative Summit. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post)

  • Michael Reaves, The Denver Post

    Donald Trump protesters during the Trump campaign stop in Denver Friday, July 1, 2016. (Michael Reaves, The Denver Post)

  • Andy Cross, The Denver Post

    Progress Now Colorado building "tearing down walls of hate" anti-trump wall Friday, July 1, 2016. (Andy Cross, The Denver Post)

  • Michael Reaves, The Denver Post

    Donald Trump hats during the Trump campaign stop in Denver Friday, July 1, 2016. (Michael Reaves, The Denver Post)

  • Andy Cross, The Denver Post

    Progress Now Colorado building "tearing down walls of hate" anti-trump wall Friday, July 1, 2016. (Andy Cross, The Denver Post)

  • Michael Reaves, The Denver Post

    Donald Trump pins during the Trump campaign stop in Denver Friday, July 1, 2016. (Michael Reaves, The Denver Post)

  • Michael Reaves, The Denver Post

    Donald Trump protesters during the Trump campaign stop in Denver Friday, July 1, 2016. (Michael Reaves, The Denver Post)

  • RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post

    DENVER, CO - JULY 01: Kaitlyn Wender stands in front of the Western Conservative Summit sign as she arrive to see Donald J. Trump and Sarah Palin at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, July 01, 2016. It is the 7th annual Western Conservative Summit. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post)

  • RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post

    DENVER, CO - JULY 01: Donald J. Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential candidate, and former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin will headline the 2016 Western Conservative Summit the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, July 01, 2016. It is the 7th annual Western Conservative Summit. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post)

  • RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post

    DENVER, CO - JULY 01: Carl and Beth Nagy, from Arvada arrive early to see Donald J. Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential candidate, and former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin at the 2016 Western Conservative Western the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, July 01, 2016. It is the 7th annual Western Conservative Summit. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post)

  • RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post

    DENVER, CO - JULY 01: Anna Heintzelman waits to see Donald J. Trump during the 2016 Western Conservative Summit the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, July 01, 2016. It is the 7th annual Western Conservative Summit. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post)

“We do have to win Colorado,” he said. “I will be back a lot, don’t worry about it. I will be back a lot.”

Trump also took a shot at former President Bill Clinton, who met with Attorney General Loretta Lynch at an airport meeting amid the investigation into his wife’s personal e-mail account.

“He really opened up a Pandora’s Box, and it shows what’s going on and what’s happening with our laws and our government,” Trump said, scoffing at Lynch statements that the two merely talked about grandchildren and golf.

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee began speaking about about 11:25 a.m. before leaving for a big-dollar fundraiser at the home of former Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan.

The summit offers Colorado conservatives their first look at Trump after he snubbed the state this primary season — despite solid support here — and later attacked the Republican Party’s caucus process after losing to Ted Cruz. The bad blood is just one reason why Colorado is Trump’s nemesis and the visit is the first step toward easing tensions in a key battleground state.

However, the crowd for his first event is not a natural one for the billionaire businessman. The summit is traditionally packed by conservative firebrands and evangelical Republicans. The agenda for the three-day event features adversaries like Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse, among others.

“The Summit is recognized as the national forum for open dialogue that celebrates conservative values, freedom and virtue as the elements most critical to the preservation of the U.S. Constitution and for the United States to thrive,” said Jeff Hunt, the director of the Centennial Institute.

Trump is the first presumptive presidential candidate to attend the event, which in prior years drew the likes of Ben Carson, Rick Santorum and Ted Cruz.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin warmed up the crowd before Trump spoke.



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