UPDATED 1:05 PM PT – Wednesday, February 24, 2021
Former Vice President Mike Pence touted his meeting with House conservatives. On Tuesday, Pence met with the Republican Study Steering Committee to discuss the agenda for the 117th Congress. He reportedly told GOP lawmakers he maintained a strong relationship with former President Trump and will continue to defend their administration’s record.
— Mike Pence (@Mike_Pence) February 24, 2021
Meanwhile, the 45th President is set to address the Conservative Political Action Conference this weekend. Some GOP leaders welcomed his upcoming appearance while others were not as enthusiastic. When asked if President Trump should be speaking at this year’s CPAC, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said he believed so. However, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) had different thoughts.
“That’s up to CPAC,” Cheney said. “I’ve been clear in my views about President Trump and the extent to which following January 6. I don’t believe that he should be playing a role in the future of the party or the country.”
Despite disdain from the political establishment, grassroots conservatives remain firmly behind the 45th President.
“He just spent 4 years enacting the most conservative policy we’ve ever seen from any president, certainly any Republican president,” American Conservative Union Chairman Matt Schlapp stated. “And 73 million Americans voted for him. They thought the policies helped make America strong, we weren’t apologizing overseas, the forgotten men and women had great economic prospects. He simply did what he said he was going to do. So why not have him speak? It seems to me that it makes perfect sense that he would come back and talk to his followers and talk about what is going to happen in the future.”
Even one of President Trump’s biggest critics in the party believes he is the front runner for the presidential nomination. In an interview Tuesday, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) said President Trump would win the 2024 GOP presidential nomination “in a landslide” if he ran. He referenced polling that indicated Trump’s lead in the potential 2024 primary field. Romney added he would not vote for the 45th President if he were the party’s nominee. However, he acknowledged Trump’s influence over the party is still very strong.
“He has by far the largest voice and a big impact in my party,” Romney noted. “I don’t know about his family members, whether they intend to do that. I don’t know if he will run, but if he does I am pretty sure he would win the nomination.”
In the meantime, President Trump’s speech at CPAC will reportedly be “a show of force” and affirm he is still in charge of the GOP.