Trump’s CPAC 2021 speech will show his total domination of the GOP: reporters
Many Never Trump conservatives have been stressing that the best thing the Republican Party could do now that President Joe Biden is in the White House is move on from the Trump era. But if the 2021 Conservative Political Action Conference is any indication, abandoning Trumpism is the last thing the GOP has in mind — as Trump, according to Reuters and others, will be speaking at the event.
CPAC 2021 is set for February 25-28 in Orlando, Florida, and Reuters reports that Trump will be speaking on the last day of the event. A source told Reuters, "He'll be talking about the future of the Republican Party and the conservative movement."
Trump adviser Jason Miller told Axios, "Trump effectively is the Republican Party. The only chasm is between Beltway insiders and grassroots Republicans around the country. When you attack President Trump, you're attacking the Republican grassroots."
CPAC 2021 will mark Trump's first public speech at a major conservative event since leaving the White House on January 20. A source told Axios that Trump's speech will be "a show of force" and that his message will be "I may not have Twitter or the Oval Office, but I'm still in charge" — and the former president will declare that he is the Republican Party's "presumptive 2024 nominee" for the next presidential election.
Axios' Mike Allen writes, "Trump's speech Sunday at CPAC in Orlando is designed to show that he controls the party, whether or not he runs in 2024. His advisers argue that his power within the GOP runs deeper and broader than ever, and that no force can temper him."
Allen notes that Trump "is expected to stoke primary challenges for some of those who have crossed him, and shower money and endorsements on the Trumpiest candidates. State-level officials, fresh off censuring Trump critics, stand ready to back him up."
Liberal Washington Post opinion writer Greg Sargent weighs in on Trump's forthcoming CPAC 2021 speech in a February 22 column, citing it as proof that the GOP is more extreme and unhinged than ever.
Sargent explains, "When Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference next weekend, his message will go a lot deeper than simply reinforcing the message that the GOP is still Trump's party. According to sources who spoke to Axios, the former president will communicate that he is still fully 'in charge' of the GOP and is the 'presumptive 2024 nominee' if he deigns to run. But the message will also be that he will endorse primary challenges to anti-Trump heretics — meaning Republicans who hope for political futures must maintain absolute loyalty to him."
According to Sargent, Trump's speech means that Democrats must "go as big as possible on policy in their first two years" — and do everything they can to prevent pro-Trump extremists from obtaining a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2022 midterms.
Rep. Sean Maloney, the New York congressman who chairs the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, told Sargent, "Dangerous elements are controlling the Republican Party. They've got their hands around its neck right now."
Maloney noted that House Republicans haven't censured the far-right Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia for endorsing violence against Democrats, arguing that the GOP has "become a danger to our democracy and our public health."
Strong quotes from DCCC chair @RepSeanMaloney to me about the GOP's radicalization: “Dangerous elements are contro… https://t.co/4tGbLb7dho— Greg Sargent (@Greg Sargent) 1614009541
According to Sargent, "Republicans are openly boasting that they will use extreme gerrymanders to recapture the House in 2020, and some experts believe they can do this even if Democrats win the national popular vote. Losing the House to an increasingly radicalized GOP would go a long way toward crippling the country's ability to respond to large public problems…. This intensifies pressure on Democrats to hold the House."
Democrats, Maloney told Sargent, need to show voters that today's unhinged Republicans are incapable of handling the major challenges the U.S. is facing.
"(Republicans) are divided and under siege from their dangerous elements," according to Maloney. "If that's where they continue to take themselves, then I believe they will separate themselves from the voters they need to win. Swing voters in swing districts (will) not follow the Republican Party to Crazytown."
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