Earlier this week, former President Donald J. Trump made his first public appearance since leaving office at CPAC. Since the end of his tenure as President, a number of Republicans including Rep. Liz Cheney, Sen. Mitt Romney, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch Mcconnell have been outspoken in their criticism of Trump following the events of the January 6th Capitol Riots.
Following the former President’s impeachment trial, Sen. Mcconnell stated that, despite voting in favor of Trump’s acquittal, he believed the former President certainly held a degree of responsibility for the events that unfolded that day. In a scathing rebuke of Sen. Mcconnell, Trump called him a “sour, dullen, unsmiling political hack”, and stated that “the Republican Party can never be respected or strong again with political leaders like Sen. Mitch Mcconnell at its helm”.
Following this, it was even speculated that Trump and his team were considering leaving the Republican Party to form a new political party. In his speech at CPAC, Trump denied these rumors stating that the Republican Party is united and dividing would ultimately cost them future elections. Trump reaffirmed his party’s belief in “America First” policies and then hinted at a possible run in 2024 by saying, “Who knows, I may even decide to defeat them a third time”, implying that he had won the previous election. Regardless of the path former President Trump decides to take, The Republican Party has certainly been fractured since his exit from office and the path towards a 2024 victory remains uncertain.