2021-02-20 22:20:20 | Donald Trump to address CPAC on future of Republican party | Donald Trump


Story by: Guardian staff and agencies The Guardian

Former president Donald Trump will address the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, in Florida next week, about the future of the Republican party and the conservative movement, a source familiar with the plan told Reuters on Saturday.

The CPAC meeting will be held in Orlando, Florida from 25 to 28 February, with Trump speaking on the final day, Reuters reported.

“He’ll be talking about the future of the Republican party and the conservative movement,” the source reportedly said. “Also look for the 45th president to take on President [Joe] Biden’s disastrous amnesty and border policies.”

Trump lost the presidency to Biden, who beat him by 306-232 in the electoral college and more than 7m ballots in the popular vote. The former president has refused to accept that result but now lives at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

Last week he survived a second impeachment, for inciting the deadly insurrection at the US Capitol on 6 January, as part of his attempt to overturn his defeat.

Seven Republican senators voted to convict, 10 short of the figure needed but indicative of a party split between supporters of Trump and an establishment seeking to move on.

Ten House Republicans voted to impeach and Trump has expressed anger their way. On Tuesday he aimed fire at Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, the most senior elected Republican.

The loss of the White House to Biden and control of the Senate, which Democrats picked up in a pair of upset Georgia election runoff victories last month, coupled with the rise of extreme rightwing figures who vocally support Trump, has left Republican leaders on edge as they plot how to win Congress back in 2022.

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Trump and McConnell parted ways in the weeks after the November election, with Trump angered that the Kentucky Republican recognised Biden as the winner in mid-December. They have not spoken since, a former White House official said this week.

The gap widened when McConnell declared after the Senate acquittal that Trump was “practically and morally responsible” for the Capitol attack and open to criminal prosecution. In return, Trump called McConnell “a dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack” and said that if Republicans stay with him “they will not win again”.

Polling shows that though thousands have left the party since the Capitol attack, a clear majority of those left support Trump and would vote for him if he entered the primary for the presidential nomination in 2024.

It was also reported this week that the former White House strategist Steve Bannon thought Trump was suffering from early onset dementia while in office.

A number of top Republicans who are considered possible candidates for the 2024 presidential nomination are also due to speak at CPAC, including former secretary of state Mike Pompeo and Kristi Noem, the governor of South Dakota.

Two notable figures not on the CPAC speaker list are former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley and former Vice-President Mike Pence.

Another anonymous source told Reuters Trump had rebuffed a request by Haley to meet with him recently after she was critical of him in a Politico article.

Pence’s life was threatened by the Capitol mob, when he refused to go along with Trump’s attempts to overturn the election.

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Conservatives and CPAC attendees were slow to accept Trump when he first ran for office, leading him to withdraw from the event during the 2016 primaries. But he has come to dominate the event, offering red meat to a party base apparently entirely in his thrall.

“Do you remember I started running and people would say, ‘Are you sure he’s a conservative?’” he asked its audience in 2018. “I think now we’ve proved that I’m a conservative, right?”


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Source References: The Guardian

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