Former President Donald Trump made an explosive return to public life in his Sunday speech at CPAC. While he hugged the American flag, and sought to unite conservatives, he also stated some other explosive words, specifically targeting weak Republicans he intends to help remove from the party and office.
Trump gave his laundry list of both Democrats AND Republicans he’ll support to defeat in upcoming elections. His speech noted the following Republicans: “The Democrats don’t have grandstanders like Mitt Romney, little Ben Sasse, Richard Burr, Bill Cassidy, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Pat Toomey…. And in the house, Tom Rice, Adam Kinzinger, Dan Newhouse, Anthony Gonzalez, that’s another beauty, Fred Upton, Jaime Herrera Beutler, Peter Meijer, John Katko, David Valadao, and of course the warmonger, a person that loves seeing our troops fighting, Liz Cheney, how about that?”
The list included those who voted against Trump during his second impeachment, covering Republican Senators who voted to impeach him after he was no longer president. He especially focused on Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney, noting, “The good news is in her state, she’s been censured, and in her state, her poll numbers have dropped faster than any human being I’ve ever seen.”
Trump also noted, “Instead of attacking me and, more importantly, the voters of our movement, top establishment Republicans in Washington should be spending their energy in opposing Biden, Pelosi, Schumer, and the Democrats.” His new plans appear to focus specifically on the 2022 midterm elections, adding Republicans to take back the House and targeting specific Senators up for reelection.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Trump is also now forming a new Super PAC. A Super PAC, unlike other political committees, can accept unlimited funds.
Though Trump hinted at returning for another run for president in 2024, he did not make an announcement on the issue. He did, however, rule out forming a third party, calling it fake news, and said his focus will be on uniting conservatives in the Republican party.
His tough words brought resounding applause from the CPAC audience, as expected. However, it will be interesting to see how the enthusiasm translates to the larger American audience. Conservatives are certainly ready to see Democrats out of office, but what will the attitude be toward Republicans who have opposed Trump?
Will Utah choose Trump’s next Senate candidate over Mitt Romney? Will Wyoming follow through on its plan to primary Cheney?
And how will the left respond? Will they seize the moment to accuse Republicans of division and prop up strong candidates against Trump’s targets? The next 21 months will offer quite a rollercoaster of political action, especially for those states and districts where Trump wants to make changes.
One thing is for certain: Trump is not going away anytime soon. Instead, we’ll continue to see Trump’s name and actions in the news for at least the next election cycle. Maybe we’ll even see another run for the White House.