Sunday, 09 May, 2021


Republican leaders want a show of unity. Will Trump allow it?

After hours-long meeting, Pa. GOP to meet again to discuss Toomey Donald Trump Jnr says his father is 'the future of the Republican party'
Patty Aguilar | 27 February, 2021, 10:03

A gathering of conservatives this weekend in Florida will serve as an unabashed endorsement of former President Donald Trump's desire to remain the leader of the Republican Party - and as a forum to fan his false claim that he lost the November election only because of widespread voter fraud.

Kimberly Guilfoyle, a former Fox News Channel host and Donald Trump Jr.'s girlfriend, offered a pointed message to those who stand in opposition to the former president, who will not arrive at the conference until Sunday but was present in spirit in the form of a large golden statue erected in a merchandise show booth, where attendees could pose for pictures with it.

Donald Trump's hold on the Republican Party was on full display at an annual gathering of prominent US conservatives on Friday as ally Senator Ted Cruz said the former president "ain't going anywhere" despite violent scenes in Washington last month.

Also on that panel will be Jenny Beth Martin, founder of Tea Party Patriots, a group that was listed as partner organizers for the "Stop the Steal" rally outside the U.S. Capitol on January 6 that led to the storming.

The statue drew instant derision online, with commentators comparing it to the golden calf that enraged the prophet Moses in the Old Testament.

He also appeared to forecast a future role for Trump, who is pondering another run for president in 2024: "Trump may not have drained the swamp all the way - yet".

Although Pence still considers Trump to be a personal friend even after the Capitol assault where Trump supporters advocated to "hang Mike Pence", the former vice president said he plans to lay low during the first few months of the new administration.

It came as the former Republican president made good on a threat to fight to oust Republicans who voted to impeach him by announcing he had endorsed Max Miller, his former aide, in a primary challenge against GOP congressman Anthony Gonzalez.

The conference, held in Orlando because organizers weren't able to secure a permit at its usual Maryland location due to coronavirus restrictions, featured a motley crew of right-wing icons for the first major event of the four-day conservative love-fest.

"Mitch is a dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack, and if Republican Senators are going to stay with him, they will not win again", Trump shot back last week.

"You really can't include everybody", he said. "If we argue with ourselves, we're going to lose". However, when two prominent anti-Trump members of Congress, Representative Cheney and Representative Kinziger, were asked whether or not they would consider leaving the Republican party to join a third party, both resoundingly said no.

Mr Hawley, another possible 2024 candidate, called himself part of the future of the party.

"We're not the past, we're the future". But he tweeted previous year that Romney "is formally NOT invited" to the 2020 CPAC after the Utah senator voted to allow witnesses in Trump's first impeachment trial.

"The divide right now is between the "Beltway elites" and the conservative grassroots around the country", said a Trump adviser who helped prepare the speech.

He attended the conference every year he served as president.

CPAC is an event organized by the American Conservative Union, whose chairman, Matt Schlapp, is close to Trump.

The Republican National Committee estimates that more than 25 million voters have been drawn to the party since Trump won the presidency in 2016.

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