President Trump told major Republican Party donors on Saturday night that he was optimistic about the GOP’s chances of success midway through 2022 and taking over the White House in 2024, according to prepared remarks obtained by CBS News. Mr Trump did not say if he would be on the ticket to this election, but he twice teased a potential candidate, according to a participant in his speech.
“I stand before you tonight full of confidence that in 2022 we will take over the House and we will take over the Senate – and then in 2024 a Republican candidate will win the White House,” Mr. of Trump have said.
The former president, however, often strayed from the script during his nearly hour-long speech, according to an event attendee. Mr. Trump again targeted Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who blasted Mr. Trump after his acquittal in his second impeachment trial, calling McConnell a “cold loser.” A source said that line was not met with cheers.
Mr Trump also continued to make baseless complaints of fraud in the 2020 election during his speech, according to a source. The former president and his allies have lost more than 60 lawsuits challenging the November election results and Mr. Trump’s own attorney general said there was no evidence of fraud at a level that “could have affected a different result in the election “.
The speech of the former president is the opening speech of the Republican National Committee. The event brought top GOP donors to South Florida this weekend to discuss the party’s future and chart the course for reclaiming Congress in 2022 and the White House in 2024.
The key to this success, according to the remarks prepared by Mr. Trump, is to “build on the gains that our incredible movement has made over the past four years.” He pointed to the new voters he brought into the GOP and stressed that his populist “America First” message will help the party continue to grow.
The former president has also taken shots at President Biden over various policies that the current administration has implemented and which Mr. Trump believes he has unraveled from his work in areas such as energy policy and security. at the borders.
The closed-door weekend retreat also included appearances from potential candidates for 2024, including Senators Tom Cotton and Rick Scott and Governors Ron DeSantis and Kristi Noem. Parliamentary Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Senators Lindsey Graham, Ron Johnson and Marco Rubio, and former President Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway also spoke or participated in panels. Some of the retired panels focused on issues such as party unity, the growth of the GOP, and big tech censorship.
Mr. Trump and other retired speakers have turned companies away from recent political activism, especially those who have spoken out against. At a reception on Friday night, Cotton targeted companies that have spoken out against the bill while maintaining ties with China, according to a source familiar with his remarks.
“Major League Baseball and massive corporations like Delta and Coca-Cola are boycotting an entire state for passing voter identification laws,” Cotton told donors. “To these companies, I say this: If you don’t talk about the Chinese Communist Party’s genocide while begging for their business, don’t start lecturing Americans about voter identity.”
The donors’ conference comes as the GOP continues to navigate its next steps with the 2022 midterm elections looming. While some party leaders have distanced themselves a bit from Mr. Trump in the wake of the Jan.6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, the former president’s main speech during this retreat is to bring the event into party at his Mar-a-Lago golf club, indicates that many the GOP think it must play a role in the future of the party.
“Palm Beach is the new center of political power, and President Trump is the Republican Party’s best messenger,” said Jason Miller, Trump’s senior aide.
The former president had a strained relationship with the party’s fundraising apparatus in late February and early March, but this appears to be resolved. During his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference in February, Mr. Trump encouraged activists to donate to his political action committee, Save America.
In March, he clashed with the RNC and other GOP committees over the use of his name and likeness for fundraising. In a statement released on March 9, Mr. Trump said he fully supports “the Republican Party and major GOP committees, but I do not support RINOs,” an acronym for “Republican in name only.”
Mar-a-Lago has been a frequent destination for Republicans to raise funds or meet with the former president. Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who introduces herself, was among the last to host an event at the club this weekend. McCarthy and other high profile Republicans visited the former club president.
Mr Trump has rolled out endorsements, mostly to incumbents, but this week weighed on his first open Senate primary when he endorsed Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks, who was an early supporter. opposition to the results of the electoral college. In his statement endorsing Brooks, Mr. Trump wrote that Brooks “fights for the integrity of voters (like few others)”.
The former president also endorsed Sanders in his bid for governor and former aide Max Miller, who is running against Ohio GOP Rep. Anthony Gonzalez – one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach the ‘former president.