As Republicans begin to chart a turbulent future without a clear party leadership, former President Donald Trump has said he can propel them to victory in next year’s congressional midterm election.
“The popularity of President Trump has never been as strong as it is today, and his approval means more than perhaps any approval at any time,” read a statement sent by the committee. Trump’s political action Save America following a meeting Thursday with parliamentary minority leader Kevin McCarthy.
“President Trump has agreed to work with Leader McCarthy to help the Republican Party become a majority in the House,” the statement continued.
In a separate statement, McCarthy declared the Republican Party “united and ready to win”.
United and ready to win in 22. https://t.co/YJWqCdBrCh
– Kevin McCarthy (@kevinomccarthy) January 28, 2021
This will put an end, at least in the short term, to the idea of a pro-Trump third-party dissociation from the Republicans (GOP). But it will no doubt increase tensions within the party over whether the GOP should abandon Trump and his litany of controversies or redouble its efforts to continue to woo the extremely loyal – and partially extreme – base of Trump supporters. .
Discord within the losing party is common
Over the past two decades, both parties have found themselves in difficulty after significant national electoral losses.
Leaderless Democrats fought for their party leadership after losing two presidential elections to George W. Bush, unexpectedly to find unity and “hope” in Barack Obama’s election in 2008.
The loss of Republicans that year and in 2012 plunged the GOP into a period of internal fighting and political divisions that miraculously faded, for the most part, after Donald Trump won the presidency in 2016.
And while the political environment Trump created, culminating with the assault on the U.S. Capitol and the subsequent impeachment of Trump in his final days as president, is unlike anything the United States has experienced in the past. Modern political history, Republicans find themselves watching a busted GOP. landscape and has political observers wondering how they will eventually move forward.
Immobile Republican Base
Trump’s surprise meeting with McCarthy, whom he called “my Kevin,” is the latest abrupt turn for the minority leader who is publicly debating how to function in a post-Trump environment.
A week after the January 6 riot, during the House debate over Trump’s impeachment, McCarthy blamed Trump for the violence squarely, but pleaded to censor him, not to impeach him.
“The president is responsible for [the] attack on Congress by rioters, ”McCarthy said. “He should have immediately reported the crowd when he saw what was going on.
McCarthy, as the Minority Leader and most responsible for electing Republicans to the House, saw the institutional reaction to the riot – companies said they would deny campaign donations to Republicans who backed rhetoric from Trump, Republican fundraisers have expressed fears that Trump’s actions will make Trump’s party less competitive in the next election – and apparently acknowledged their concerns.
But the donor class and the base are in very different places, and McCarthy’s effort to calm the former’s nerves has been a spectacular failure. McCarthy’s statement immediately drew criticism from the large vocal group of pro-Trump House Republicans he leads, as well as pro-Trump voters in his district and across the country, leading to Wednesday’s meeting, an effort to allay the grudges he aroused among some Republicans.
Any movement away from Trump in the aftermath of Jan.6 is starting to dissipate, likely because polls show Republicans still strongly support the former president.
An Economist / YouGov poll released this week showed that 57% of Americans believe Trump had a lot or part of responsibility for the riot. But 58% of Republicans said he was not at all responsible.
As for Trump’s conviction for “inciting insurgency,” more Americans, 47-39%, support the conviction while 79% of Republicans oppose it.
McCarthy and other Republican leaders see these numbers and realize that very little has changed among their party’s supporters: it’s still Trump’s party. And McCarthy’s visit to Trump confirmed that sentiment, at least for now.
It is certainly becoming clear to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who just two weeks ago was supposed to condemn Trump. Yet on Wednesday McConnell voted with all but five of his fellow Republicans in a bid to dismiss the House impeachment case.
This vote emboldened the fringes of the party that the Republican leaders tried to compress in recent weeks.
McCarthy is handling the controversial surrounding the past incendiary actions of Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene towards Democrats and others promoting progressive causes.
Florida Representative Matt Gaetz, who makes the unusual decision to hold a rally in the Wyoming district of his colleague Representative Liz Cheney, slams her for voting for Trump’s impeachment. Cheney, who is McCarthy’s deputy, backs her vote but has become a punch bag for pro-Trump Republicans.
It turns out that the Capitol riot, which was seen as a ‘turning the page’ moment for some Republican elected officials and donors, has become in just a matter of weeks another Trump controversy that has failed to create a a feeling of indignation among his most ardent supporters.
And when its Political Action Committee declares that “President Trump’s popularity has never been as strong as it is today,” they’re sending a clear signal to Republicans who thought they could go from Trump to what, for now. , it is far too early. do this.