Top Republicans spar in public over Donald Trump's future in the party

  • Top Republicans spar in public over Donald Trump's future in the party

Top Republicans spar in public over Donald Trump's future in the party

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who excoriated former president Donald Trump over the deadly 6 January Capitol riot less than two weeks ago, said on Thursday that he would "absolutely" vote for Trump if he became the 2024 Republican presidential nominee.

Matt Schlapp, chairman of the Conservative Political Action Conference and a Trump ally, said discussion panels on election integrity would highlight "huge" evidence of illegal voting in Georgia, Nevada and elsewhere that ultimately swung the election for Democrat Joe Biden.

According to a recent POLITICO/Morning Consult survey, Noem only polled at one percent of support for a 2024 White House run, while Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence towered over the poll at 53 percent and 12 percent, respectively.

But a Trump 2024 announcement may not come at CPAC, which starts Friday with panels on "cancel culture" and "protecting elections".

The Republican civil war over former United States president Donald Trump is far from over.

Rep. Jim Banks, an Indiana Republican who chairs the conservative Republican Study Committee, told CNN that a group of members met at Pence's transition office in the Washington area on Tuesday afternoon, talking about the way forward for their party while also touting the accomplishments of the past.

"Having chosen the progressive route, [Biden] certainly made it a lot easier for me to unify my members in the opposition", McConnell said.

Trump was scheduled to make his first official public appearance since leaving the White House last month. That stance has been backed by polls showing most Republican voters still back the former president.

Mike Pence in the foreground of Donald Trump
Alex Wong Getty Images

House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy was unequivocal when asked if Trump should be speaking this Sunday at CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference - the large gathering of GOP and conservative leaders. The quest, say those familiar with the visits and calls of varying Republican politicos, is to feel out where the former President's head is on the party's future, and whether he feels inclined to assist or oppose a particular person.

The struggle between the pro-Trump and anti-Trump arms of the Republican Party is a lopsided one.

"Staying close to the Trumps and far away from Washington is the best place for any Republican politician right now", Cluverius said.

"Whether the GOP remains an uneasy alliance of those two factions, or splits apart. depends on a number of things that haven't happened yet", said Republican political consultant Whit Ayres, president of North Star Opinion Research.

"I really don't think most Palm Beachers are even thinking about Trump any longer".

Trump adviser Jason Miller told CBS News that Mr. Trump will be "a force" in the 2022 midterms. "If we argue with ourselves, we're going to lose".

"We needed to do something, so I asked for a censure and we got it", said Donna Cosmello, chairwoman of the Republican Party in rural Susquehanna County, which still has visible markers of support for the former president.

His opponents, including some within the Republican Party, say four years is an eternity in politics and much can change. "Most aren't willing to pay that price".