In an appearance that’s already roiling the Republican Party, former President Donald Trump is set to get a full embrace at a conservative conference this weekend, his first public speech since leaving office under a cloud of impeachment.
The speech is a chance for Trump and grassroots conservatives to raise the Trump 2024 banner and show that the former president is still alive and kicking after Democrats failed to get a conviction for Trump’s role in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol.
“President Trump is the leader of the Republican Party,” U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan tweeted.
“Let me tell you this right now — Donald J. Trump ain’t going anywhere,” Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said at a speech on Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference, where Trump will appear on Sunday.
Cruz is one of a dozen potential Republican presidential candidates appearing at the conference, which will be holding a presidential straw poll this weekend.
But many of Trump’s Republican adversaries, like Utah Sen. Mitt Romney and Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, will be staying far away from the CPAC meeting in Orlando, Fla. — no doubt to spare themselves from getting booed.
Also not getting a speaking invite is Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who strongly denounced Trump after voting to acquit him in the Senate impeachment trial.
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Those adversaries are trying to transform the Republican Party into one where Trump doesn’t have a leading role, but they are getting stiff blowback from die-hard supporters of the former president.
This conference will be all Trump all the time, no dissent allowed, which will no doubt delight the anti-Trump media who have been looking for ways to attack the former president since he left office.
Social media lefties even made mockery of a golden Trump statue that was making its way around the CPAC conference.
Here’s some shocking news for Trump haters — millions of conservatives and other Republicans still like the former president and would vote for him again.
Trump in many ways is still the face and lifeblood of the Republican Party and the CPAC conference is likely to ram that point home.
It will show how difficult it will be for Trump opponents to distance the party from the former president.
Trump has made clear that he intends to use the CPAC speech to bolster his 2024 hopes and organize grass roots Republicans to take back the House and Senate from Democrats in the 2022 mid-term election.
Many Trump supporters insist the narrative that the party is divided over the former president has been greatly exaggerated by the Trump-hating media.
But it’s clear that many establishment Republicans like Romney don’t want Trump to have a leading role in the party’s future. They will be far outnumbered at the CPAC meeting, which has traditionally been a must-see showcase for leading conservatives.
Trump is scheduled to take the stage at 3:40 p.m. Eastern Time on Sunday.
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