Donald Trump reappeared on the scene this Sunday after his turbulent exit from the White House and claimed the throne of the Republican Party by again shaking the infundy of electoral fraud. Two months after the bloody assault on the Capitol, by a mob incited by these hoaxes, and recently acquitted by the Senate for inciting the insurrection, the former president again played with matches. "We have a very corrupt electoral system that must be fixed, these elections were rigged and the Supreme Court and other courts did not want to do anything about it," he said in what was his return to the general public, his closing speech of the Confederation of Conservative Political Action. The great annual conclave of the American conservative movement, held in Orlando, Florida, showcased the power of the New York businessman on the ground.
The speech, lasting almost an hour and a half, was expected as a vindication of the leadership of the Republican Party, very fractured by the attack on the Capitol, but it went further. Trump claimed the identity of the Great Old Party, the voice of his future, and he did it without fear of using the same dynamite that he put before his second impeachment, the baseless accusations of a stolen election. The audience present responded by chanting: "You won, you won." And the former president, who had been silent on this matter since the attack on Congress, responded: "We did it."
Trump clarified that he will not form a third party, after rumors that pointed in this regard, and did not specify whether or not he planned to appear again in 2024, but this Sunday in Orlando he showed that he will continue in the gap and without renouncing his most incendiary manual. "The incredible journey that we began together four years ago is far from over, our movement of hard-working patriots has just begun and in the end we will win," he emphasized.
The CPAC, the acronym by which this appointment is known, was first held in 1974 as a shock to the Watergate scandal. It served to reactivate the right wing of the party and launch the national career of a Ronald Reagan in charge of the keynote address. It became, since then, a kind of annual check-up for the conservative movement and a showcase for future Republican presidents. In 2016 he exhibited the division caused by the figure of Donald Trump and this 2021 has shown that this incombustible 74-year-old businessman continues to be the preponderant voice of the party, whether or not he decides to stand in the 2024 elections.
His great detractors were absent from the meeting and his allies took over the round tables. In the poll among those attending the conference, in which they must say which politician from their ranks they would choose as the presidential candidate, Trump won with 55%. As soon as he spoke, he asked: "Do you miss me already?" In hot, the public said yes, but the real answer is complex. In that same poll, only 68% of those consulted believed that it should run again in 2024, a good example of the ambivalent sentiment of Republicans.
The defeat at the polls, the assault on the Capitol and the impeachment divided the Party between those who repudiated Trump and believe that the future should be written according to a new model and those who support him and consider that it is he who represents the true sentiment of the voter. This Sunday, the businessman denied the most: “The Republican Party is united. The only division is between a bunch of politicians from the establishment from Washington and the rest of the country. " That is, he and the people, in front of a handful of priests. "Soon there will be a new Republican president in the White House, I wonder who it will be …" he said several times tonight, flirting with the public.
The speech seemed like a rally. He took the stage preceded by the official anthem of his campaign, the song country God bless the USA, and rocked the new Joe Biden Administration with a bang. “We knew it was going to be bad, but we never thought that it was going to be radical left. In just one month we have gone from America first, to least America, "he stressed. He accused the Democratic president, who has proposed the regularization of the approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States, of promoting an "amnesty for illegal aliens" and of opening the borders wide.
Immigration covered a good part of his long speech, a sign that it is the trump card that this movement of which he speaks will continue to play in these coming years. He also entertained himself in highlighting the wave of "socialism" that, in his opinion, the Democrats advocate. But the fundamental question these three days of conference in Florida was not that, but which Republican model is the one that will win the elections of the future.
Despite losing, the New York mogul won 74.2 million votes in the November 3 election, an improvement of 11 million over 2016, one percentage point in relative terms. Even so, if Trump's dominance over the party and its bases is evident, the capacity for reaction and repudiation it generates in Democratic voters, too. In a span of two years and, with Trump in the White House, Republicans have lost control of the House of Representatives, the Senate and the presidency. That is the double-sided reality that the Republican priests value when looking towards 2024, when the presidential elections are held again, and in 2022, when the legislative elections take place.
So omnipresent has been his figure during these three days – and not only because of the golden sculpture that dominated the images of the event – as the absence of his opponents and former allies is striking. The former vice president, Mike Pence, did not pass by; Senator and former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, and not even Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell; the relevant congresswoman Liz Cheney, nor the former ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley. Ultimately, none of the most relevant voices that have distanced themselves from the former president did not attend and, in some cases, even voted in favor of the president. impeachment. They have participated and made speeches, however, his son Donald Trump junior; his partner, Kimberly Guilfoyle, and a long list of allies who took advantage of the meeting to praise his government work and reiterate the electoral fraud hoaxes.
A hypothetical return of Trump as a presidential candidate in 2024 has already been discussed a lot. He leaves the door open and, one way or another, what he has decided is to act as a dominant voice in the future, to become at least a champion of future candidates and no potential candidate wants to antagonize. Few more eloquent examples of its influence than the latest statements by Mitch McConnell on the conservative network Fox. The veteran senator, one of the Party's most powerful figures, voted to acquit Trump in the impeachment, but publicly condemned him for the bloody assault on the Capitol: "There is no doubt that the president is practically and morally responsible for the events," he said on the day of the vote. However, this Friday, when asked if he would support Trump if he won the Republican nomination, he replied: "Of course."
In these weeks of retirement in Florida, since he left the White House on January 20, the president of the Republican Party, Ronna McDaniel, a string of aides and the senator from Carolina of the South have passed by his mansion in Mar-a-Lago. South Lindsey Graham, one of the president's great allies on Capitol Hill. From his new post-presidential office, he has organized a whole structure and intends to launch a new Political Action Committee, a vehicle that serves to raise funds, in addition to the one he already uses, "Save America." “He likes the way he is right now people are looking for his support. While I was there, up to 10 people called asking for it, ”Graham told The Washington Post. The senator, he said, has explained to the president that his personal behavior and his management of the pandemic harmed him, but that he could recover from that by fighting specific political disputes, such as immigration. This Sunday was an aperitif.