Former President Donald Trump may be feeling a Republican backlash after criticizing his own former running mate and attacking senators trying to alter a vital election rule.
On Tuesday, a Washington expert told Newsweek that Republican leaders are “placing distance between themselves and Donald Trump,” but many are “too terrified of their own people” to do so.
While Trump remains a dominant force in the GOP and is widely expected to win the GOP presidential nominee in 2024, he has recently fought with members of his own party.
His endorsements and campaign appearances are anticipated to be key in the 2022 midterm elections, despite ongoing disputes within the party.
On February 4, former Vice President Mike Pence spoke to the Federalist Society in Florida. Pence blasted Trump for his repeated claims that he could have rejected Electoral College votes on January 6, 2021.
“Trump is wrong. I had no right to void the vote “stated he
“I was right and everyone knows it,” Trump said, referring to Pence’s ability to reject the Electoral College.
The former president further attacked “Democrats and RINOS [Republicans in Name Only]” for “working feverishly together” to amend the 1887 Electoral Count Act.
A bipartisan group of roughly 15 senators led by Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins has been considering amendments to the Electoral Count Act with senior Democrats led by West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin.
Trump has constantly criticized any changes to the Electoral College vote counting procedure after a presidential election.
Several prominent senators slammed the Republican National Committee (RNC) for censuring Reps. Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney, both Trump critics and the only GOP members of the House select committee investigating last year’s uprising.
All of this comes as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis appears to be a rising star in the Republican Party, with bookmakers increasing his chances of winning the 2020 presidential race.
There have also been rum ours of a “feud” between Trump and DeSantis, though both have denied any enmity.
The GOP’s Soul
Mark Shanahan is co-editor of The Trump Presidency: From Campaign Trail to World Stage and an associate professor at Reading University in the UK. He told Newsweek that the Republican Party has “schisms.”
“The GOP appears fragmented as it battles for its soul,” Shanahan added. “Many Republicans were preparing for midterm campaigns—or possibly national office in ’24—by avoiding or omitting Donald Trump from their meetings.”
He stated the RNC re-entered the January 6 insurrection debate on Monday by censuring Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger.
“Notable is the pushback McDaniel has got,” Shanahan added. “Many Republicans in Congress don’t want Trump in party or policy discussions now.
The House inquiry continues, and the former president’s accusation of a stolen election has no credibility.”
“There are definite symptoms of a schism—reinforced by recent comments by Mike Pence and Chris Christie,” Shanahan added.
Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie alleged Monday that the January 6 Capitol brawl was “incited by Donald Trump to scare Mike Pence.”
“Every ex-power president’s over their party waned,” Shanahan noted. “Trump’s should, too. In the meantime, potential opponents like Florida’s Ron DeSantis look to be drawing momentum from Trump’s ongoing troubles “said he
A GOP coup?
Former U.S. Congressman Tom Fitton told Newsweek that he believed the Republican Party would revolt against Trump.
“From the Russia probe to the Zelnskyy call to January 6, analysts have repeatedly stated that the GOP is on the verge of a full-blown rebellion against Trump,” Gift added. It never occurs, he said.
At the same time as Special Counsel Robert Mueller was looking into possible links between Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia, Trump was impeached in 2019.
Gift stated the GOP in 2022 “remains Trump’s Party.”
Then I’ll think there’s a Trump revolution.
“Right now, GOP people are too attached to Trump to abandon him,” Gift added. “And Republican officials are still too terrified of their own constituents to publicly criticize Trump.”
“I find the ‘this time is different’ argument difficult to believe,” Gift remarked.