Donald Trump to address CPAC on future of Republican party

Former president Donald Trump will address the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, in Florida next week, about the future of the Republican party and the conservative movement, a source familiar with the plan told Reuters on Saturday.

The CPAC meeting will be held in Orlando, Florida from 25 to 28 February, with Trump speaking on the final day, Reuters reported.

“He’ll be talking about the future of the Republican party and the conservative movement,” the source reportedly said. “Also look for the 45th president to take on President [Joe] Biden’s disastrous amnesty and border policies.”

Trump lost the presidency to Biden, who beat him by 306-232 in the electoral college and more than 7m ballots in the popular vote. The former president has refused to accept that result but now lives at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

Last week he survived a second impeachment, for inciting the deadly insurrection at the US Capitol on 6 January, as part of his attempt to overturn his defeat.

Seven Republican senators voted to convict, 10 short of the figure needed but indicative of a party split between supporters of Trump and an establishment seeking to move on.

Ten House Republicans voted to impeach and Trump has expressed anger their way. On Tuesday he aimed fire at Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, the most senior elected Republican.

The loss of the White House to Biden and control of the Senate, which Democrats picked up in a pair of upset Georgia election runoff victories last month, coupled with the rise of extreme rightwing figures who vocally support Trump, has left Republican leaders on edge as they plot how to win Congress back in 2022.

Trump and McConnell parted ways in the weeks after the November election, with Trump angered that the Kentucky Republican recognised Biden as the winner in mid-December. They have not spoken since, a former White House official said this week.

The gap widened when McConnell declared after the Senate acquittal that Trump was “practically and morally responsible” for the Capitol attack and open to criminal prosecution. In return, Trump called McConnell “a dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack” and said that if Republicans stay with him “they will not win again”.

Polling shows that though thousands have left the party since the Capitol attack, a clear majority of those left support Trump and would vote for him if he entered the primary for the presidential nomination in 2024.

It was also reported this week that the former White House strategist Steve Bannon thought Trump was suffering from early onset dementia while in office.

A number of top Republicans who are considered possible candidates for the 2024 presidential nomination are also due to speak at CPAC, including former secretary of state Mike Pompeo and Kristi Noem, the governor of South Dakota.

Two notable figures not on the CPAC speaker list are former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley and former Vice-President Mike Pence.

Another anonymous source told Reuters Trump had rebuffed a request by Haley to meet with him recently after she was critical of him in a Politico article.

Pence’s life was threatened by the Capitol mob, when he refused to go along with Trump’s attempts to overturn the election.

Conservatives and CPAC attendees were slow to accept Trump when he first ran for office, leading him to withdraw from the event during the 2016 primaries. But he has come to dominate the event, offering red meat to a party base apparently entirely in his thrall.

“Do you remember I started running and people would say, ‘Are you sure he’s a conservative?’” he asked its audience in 2018. “I think now we’ve proved that I’m a conservative, right?”

Guardian staff and agencies

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Trump to tell CPAC he is Republican 'presumptive 2024 nominee' – report
Unnamed source tells news site Axios Trump’s speech to the rightwing event will have the message ‘I’m still in charge’

Martin Pengelly in New York

22, Feb, 2021 @3:18 PM

Article image
Trump reportedly seeks 2024 campaign role for far-right activist Laura Loomer
Ex-president has told aides to hire failed congressional candidate and anti-Muslim campaigner, New York Times reports

Martin Pengelly in New York

07, Apr, 2023 @8:15 PM

Article image
Trump ignores Farage – and risks midterm elections farrago – with insistence on big lie
Analysis: His British friend tried to help but the former president did not want to forget his voter fraud obsession and focus on the future. CPAC loved it but Republicans hoping to take Congress know they are courting disaster

David Smith in Orlando, Florida

28, Feb, 2022 @6:00 AM

Article image
How Donald Trump canceled the Republican party | Sidney Blumenthal
The convention will be a ghastly reminder of what happened to the party of Lincoln – even as it desperately grabs for his mantle

Sidney Blumenthal

23, Aug, 2020 @6:00 AM

Article image
Has Donald Trump finally split the Republican party?
With only a few more weeks before Biden takes over, significant segments of the party are finally breaking with the president

Martin Pengelly

24, Dec, 2020 @8:00 AM

Article image
Mitt Romney calls Donald Trump '900lb gorilla in the Republican party'
Utah senator and 2012 candidate insists GOP won policy battle but says Trump should moderate rhetoric

Martin Pengelly in New York

08, Nov, 2020 @3:27 PM

Article image
The Destructionists review: brilliant study of Republican rage pre-Trump
Dana Milbank of the Washington Post does not fall victim to false equivalency. He knows the GOP is a threat to democracy

Charles Kaiser

05, Sep, 2022 @6:00 AM

Article image
How Donald Trump convinced the Republican party to revolve around him
Seemingly overnight and without much effort, majority of GOP congressmen endorse or have come to accept the presumptive nominee as the face of the party

Tom McCarthy

14, May, 2016 @12:09 PM

Article image
CPAC: Trump teases 2024 run and denounces Biden at rightwing summit
Ex-president repeats false claims that he won 2020 election and floats possible run in 2024 in speech

David Smith in Washington

28, Feb, 2021 @11:31 PM

Article image
Donald Trump recycles the hits in arena gig to the Tampa thousands
The attendance figures aren’t true, classic rock is turned up to 11, policies come in call and response. This is less Triumph of the Will than politics by Ticketmaster

Jeb Lund in Tampa

13, Feb, 2016 @5:00 PM