OXON HILL, Md. — President Trump has cracked the code. Or at least he thinks he has.
"I'm trying to figure it out," Trump told the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday, puzzled by historical patterns that predict his party might lose control of Congress next November. "Historically if you win the presidency, you don't do well two years later," he observed.
"You fight so hard to win the presidency. You fight, fight, fight ... And now you gotta go and fight again, so nobody has that same drive that they had," said Trump, identifying complacency as the culprit that's dogged so many presidents before him.
"People get complacent," he argued. "It's a natural instinct."
Seeking to motivate the audience of activists, Trump urged supporters to recognize that victory is not guaranteed. Without complacency, "everybody gets off their ass and they win," he said.
As Trump's lengthy remarks drew to a close, he left the audience with marching orders: "We have to get out there and we have to fight in '18 like never before."