Liz Cheney is facing mounting criticism from her GOP colleagues

Liz Cheney
House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney is the highest-ranking female Republican in Congress.

  • House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney is the highest-ranking female Republican in Congress.
  • After she publicly fist-bumped Biden and continued to criticize Trump, some want her out of leadership.
  • Cheney is a veteran of Republican politics, but today’s GOP differs greatly from even 5 years ago.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

For years, GOP Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming has been seen as a rising star within the party, a straight-talking conservative woman from a dynastic Republican family who ascended to House leadership only two years after her first congressional race.

Cheney was first elected to office on the same day that former President Donald Trump was voted into the White House in 2016.

However, over four years later, their paths have sharply diverged.

In February, Cheney, the No. 3 House Republican, was one of only 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for his role in the January 6 Capitol riot.

Unlike most members of her party, Cheney has been unusually candid in her criticism of Trump, especially as it relates to the damage that she feels the former president caused to the democratic process and the peaceful transfer of power.

“What we saw, first hand, on Jan. 6 was a threat to this system,” she said during a February foreign policy event sponsored by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute. “What happened on that day must never happen again.”

Trump, even in defeat, still holds an iron grip over most of the party, and he has zeroed in on ensuring Cheney’s political defeat.

During his keynote speech at February’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Florida, the former president called out Cheney as a “warmonger,” with the mention of her name resulting in a chorus of boos.

“The good news is in her state, she’s been censured and in her state her poll numbers have dropped faster than any human being I’ve ever seen,” he said at the time. “So hopefully they’ll get rid of her with the next election.”

In February, Cheney faced a mutiny from some of the most conservative elements of the party after her vote to impeach Trump, but the GOP caucus kept her in leadership in a 145-61 vote.

However, the past few weeks have seen a cascade of developments that seriously imperil Cheney’s leadership role – and her future within the party – a stunning reversal for a candidate who in the past has been touted as a potential House speaker, US senator, or president.

Trump continues to dominate GOP politics

During the party’s House legislative retreat in Florida last week, the schism between Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Cheney was increasingly apparent.

McCarthy, who in February publicly backed Cheney remaining in leadership, wouldn’t say if she should remain in her role when asked if she was still a “good fit.”

“That’s a question for the conference,” he said.

In an interview with Politico last week, the California Republican also chided Cheney for her continued criticism of Trump.

“There’s a responsibility, if you’re gonna be in leadership, leaders eat last,” he said. “And when leaders try to go out, and not work as one team, it creates difficulties.”

President Joe Biden (C) greets Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) with a fist bump before addressing a joint session of congress in the House chamber of the US Capitol April 28, 2021 in Washington, DC.
President Joe Biden (C) greets Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) with a fist bump before addressing a joint session of congress in the House chamber of the US Capitol April 28, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Read more: This millennial GOP congressman voted to impeach Trump. Now he’s trying to save his party from going off a cliff.

Last Wednesday, Cheney gave a fist bump to President Joe Biden before his first address to a joint session of Congress, sending partisans into a tizzy.

Responding to attacks from the party’s right flank, Cheney reaffirmed her conservatism while calling for a need to be conciliatory to people with opposing views.

“I disagree strongly w/@JoeBiden policies, but when the President reaches out to greet me in the chamber of the US House of Representatives, I will always respond in a civil, respectful & dignified way,” Cheney tweeted on Thursday. “We’re different political parties. We’re not sworn enemies. We’re Americans.”

Last week, she also floated a possible presidential campaign while also saying that McCarthy and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky were the leaders of the GOP – leaving out Trump.

“She is alienating herself from the conference”

Cheney’s opinions have infuriated conservatives who feel that she isn’t projecting a unified front against Democrats – with many hoping to oust her from leadership.

“It’s at a boiling point,” said one GOP lawmaker to The Hill. “This isn’t about Liz Cheney wanting to impeach Donald Trump; this isn’t about Donald Trump at all. It’s about Liz Cheney being completely out of synch with the majority of our conference.”

The legislator told The Hill that Cheney’s actions were becoming the subject of text conversations among House GOP colleagues.

“As we’re focused on unifying the Republican conference and our mission to win back the majority, she is focused on the past and proving a point,” the lawmaker told The Hill. “She is alienating herself from the conference, and I have to imagine if she doesn’t resign there will be a new vote in the near future and the result will be lopsided in the opposite direction of what it was before.”

GOP Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana, chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, told Axios last Friday that Cheney’s comments were “an unwelcome distraction” and openly questioned whether she would still be on the leadership team in the coming weeks.

On Saturday, GOP Rep. Lance Gooden of Texas predicted that Cheney would be out of leadership by the end of the month.

“Liz Cheney has promised she will campaign on impeaching Trump ‘every day of the week,'” he tweeted. “Good luck with that, Liz! PREDICTION: she’ll be out of her GOP leadership role by month’s end!”

Cheney is navigating a different GOP than the one she once knew

Cheney is well-versed in the ways of Republican politics in Washington, DC.

Liz Cheney Dick Cheney
Then-Vice President Dick Cheney and Liz Cheney watch the inaugural parade from the Presidential reviewing stand in front of the White House on January 20, 2005.

Her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, is a former congressman from Wyoming who also served as House Republican Conference Chair before becoming House Minority Whip and then Secretary of Defense.

A graduate of Colorado College and the University of Chicago Law School, the congresswoman practiced law before embarking on a career with the State Department, serving as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs under then-President George W. Bush.

She has long been a defense hawk, a position in line with many Republicans from the second Bush administration.

However, in a Trump-dominated GOP, Cheney is encountering forces that are different than anything she’s had to deal with in the past. Simply having conservative credentials isn’t enough anymore.

Cheney still has her boosters within the caucus

Cheney is not without her allies, though, as they delivered votes for her in the leadership secret ballot earlier this year.

GOP Rep. Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio, who also voted to impeach Trump for his role in the Capitol riot, emphasized that Cheney was one of the few Republicans willing to call out the former president’s debunked election claims.

“If a prerequisite for leading our conference is continuing to lie to our voters, then Liz is not the best fit,” he told The Hill. “Liz isn’t going to lie to people. Liz is going to say what she believes. She’s going to stand on principle. If that’s going to be distracting for folks, she’s not the best fit. I wish that weren’t the case.”

Gonzalez told The Hill he would back Cheney if a second leadership vote is held.

As the GOP tries to combat its electoral difficulties with suburban women and minority voters, another Cheney ally told The Hill that her presence lends the argument that the party is welcoming to all.

“Does Cheney’s stubborn insistence to stick with her conviction rub some of us wrong? Yes. But I sure wish McCarthy realizes that it benefits us in the long run if we have one member of our leadership team who won’t kiss Trump’s ass,” the Cheney ally said. “It’s good for the Republican party.”

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Trump predicts that the GOP will retake Congress in 2022 and the White House in 2024

donald trump mar a lago covid
Former President Donald Trump.

  • Former President Donald Trump on Saturday addressed the RNC donor summit in Florida.
  • The former president expressed confidence that the GOP would regain control of Congress in 2022.
  • He also said that “a Republican candidate” would win the White House in 2024.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Former President Donald Trump on Saturday expressed optimism that Republicans would regain control of the House and Senate in the 2022 midterm elections and win back the White House in 2024, according to prepared remarks obtained by the Associated Press.

In a keynote address at the Republican National Committee’s donor summit in Florida, Trump did not explicitly say if he would be a candidate in 2024, but float the idea of a potential candidacy, according to an attendee who spoke with CBS News.

While the closed-door summit was mostly held at the Four Seasons Resort in Palm Beach, attendees were taken to the former president’s Mar-a-Lago resort to hear him speak.

“We are gathered tonight to talk about the future of the Republican Party – and what we must do to set our candidates on a course to victory,” Trump’s prepared remarks said. “I stand before you this evening filled with confidence that in 2022, we are going to take back the House and we are going to reclaim the Senate – and then in 2024, a Republican candidate is going to win the White House.”

Read more: Visa’s PAC gave politicians $139,000 in March after vowing to pause contributions because of the Capitol insurrection

Trump also lodged attacks at his successor, President Joe Biden, accusing him of pursuing an “unpopular” legislative agenda and criticizing the increase in unaccompanied children that have been arriving at the US-Mexico border.

“With an agenda this unpopular, it is no wonder that Joe Biden is the first new president in modern times not to address a joint session of Congress within his first few weeks,” according to the former president’s prepared remarks.

Trump, along with top GOP leaders, have reportedly expressed confidence that Republicans can win back control of Congress by hammering Biden over his immigration policies.

The former president championed hardline immigration policies and the construction of a southern border wall throughout his tenure in office and during the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections.

Biden has sought to move away from the more aggressive family separation policies that defined the Trump years.

The GOP summit comes as Republicans find themselves shut out of power in Washington DC, with Biden in the White House and Democrats in control of both the House and the Senate, albeit with slim majorities.

In attendance were several potential 2024 GOP candidates that would likely launch campaigns in the event that Trump declines to run, including Govs. Ron DeSantis of Florida and Kristi Noem of South Dakota, along with Sens. Rick Scott of Florida and Tom Cotton of Arkansas.

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Republicans are touting benefits of $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill despite voting against it

Madison Cawthorn
Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-North Carolina) speaks on the House floor.

  • Republicans are touting benefits of the COVID-19 relief legislation they opposed in Congress.
  • Mitch McConnell said Republicans would have a “talk” with Americans about the bill’s issues.
  • Meanwhile, funding for healthcare and restaurants is being praised by some GOP members.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

For months, Congressional Republicans have been unanimously opposed to the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package that was backed by President Joe Biden and signed into law in March.

The stimulus package, which included $1,400 direct stimulus payments for individuals, funding for state and local governments, $300 in federal unemployment aid through September, and an expansion of the child tax credit, among other measures, did not receive a single GOP vote of support in the House or Senate.

After the bill’s passage, GOP Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky slammed the legislation as “a classic example of big-government Democratic overreach in the name of Covid relief” and “one of the worst pieces of legislation” he’s seen in his 36 years in the Senate.

He also said the GOP would “talk repeatedly” to the American public about the true contents of the bill in the coming months.

However, some Republicans are now touting popular elements of the bill they railed against on Capitol Hill.

Conservative freshman GOP Rep. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina pointed to health funding in his district in a tweet last week, including nearly $2.5 million for the Appalachian Mountain Community Health Centers and $4.6 million for Western North Carolina Community Health Services that was part of the legislation.

“Happy to announce that NC-11 was awarded grants from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services,” he wrote. “Proud to see tax-payer dollars returned to NC-11.”

Democratic National Committee Chairman Jaime Harrison took note of Hawthorn’s tweet and blasted the congressman and the GOP.

“Come’on man,” he wrote. “@RepCawthorn is trying to take credit for the grants HE VOTED AGAINST. Republicans have no shame.”

Read more: Here are 9 hurdles Biden’s infrastructure plan would have to overcome in Congress before it can become law

Cawthorn spokesman Micah Bock told NBC News in a statement last week that the congressman uses his social media account “to post information relevant to his constituents in NC-11.”

“Oftentimes this means providing relevant federal information on proposals that the congressman does not support,” he said. “There are portions of the American Rescue Plan that benefit NC-11, however, bills are not passed in portions, they are passed entirely or not at all, and this bill does significantly more harm than good.”

GOP Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi praised the billions in targeted funding for the restaurant industry that he championed – it was part the final package that he voted against.

“Independent restaurant operators have won $28.6 billion worth of targeted relief,” he tweeted after the bill passed. “This funding will ensure small businesses can survive the pandemic by helping to adapt their operations and keep their employees on the payroll.”

When asked by CNN’s Manu Raju why he didn’t support the full measure, Wicker said he didn’t have to accept the full measure and was critical of the questioning.

“Just because there’s one good provision in a $1.9 trillion bill, doesn’t mean I have to vote for it … I think it’s a stupid question. I’m not going to vote for $1.9 trillion just because it has a couple of good provisions in it.”

Congressional Republicans have currently found themselves boxed into a corner on the issue.

A Pew Research poll released shortly before the bill’s signing showed 70% of US adults backing the legislation, with only 28% of respondents opposed to the measure.

Even 41% of Republican or Republican-leaning respondents, a significant minority, backed the COVID-19 relief bill.

National GOP leaders have pledged to use the bill as a campaign attack against Democrats in the 2022 midterm elections, but nearly three dozen Republican mayors across the county, from David Holt of Oklahoma City to John Giles of Mesa, backed the legislation.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Trump had an ‘Apprentice’-like meeting with Ohio GOP Senate candidates at West Palm Beach golf club: report

Trump
Former President Donald Trump and former first lady Melania Trump at the Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach.

  • Trump had an “Apprentice”-like meeting with four Ohio GOP Senate candidates.
  • The candidates all did their best to prove their loyalty to the former president.
  • A potential endorsement from Trump could give a candidate an enormous edge among GOP voters.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Former President Donald Trump may be far from his old New York boardroom, but on Wednesday he gave four Ohio GOP Senate candidates the type of grilling famously depicted on his long-running reality television series “The Apprentice,” according to Politico.

Before a fundraiser at his golf club in West Palm Beach, Florida, Trump had the candidates – former state Treasurer Josh Mandel, former state GOP Chairwoman Jane Timken, investment banker Mike Gibbons, and businessman Bernie Moreno – sit together for a backroom meeting.

The four Republicans are set to run for Ohio’s open Senate seat in 2022, which will be vacated by two-term GOP Sen. Rob Portman at the end of his term.

The candidates were all in Florida to attend the event for Max Miller, a Trump-backed candidate who is seeking to unseat GOP Rep. Anthony Gonzalez in a primary and win the general election in Ohio’s heavily-Republican 16th Congressional District.

Gonzalez was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump in February for “incitement of insurrection” for his role in the January 6 Capitol riot.

As the candidates were speaking with guests during the pre-dinner reception, one of Trump’s aides informed the candidates that the former president wanted to speak with them privately.

When everyone was assembled together, the meeting devolved into a 15-minute free-for-all of attacks and statements given to prove fealty to the former president, according to the report.

Read more: A Trump-appointed prosecutor blindsided the Biden DOJ with a ’60 Minutes’ interview on the Capitol riot cases. Now a federal judge wants to talk about it.

Mandel, who previously ran for the Senate in 2012 and was defeated by Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown, reportedly said he was “crushing” Timken in the polls, while Timken boasted of her grassroots support while leading the state party.

Gibbons reminded Trump of his donations to the former president’s campaign, while Moreno stated that his daughter was a part of Trump’s 2020 campaign team.

With Trump planning to play an active role in the 2022 midterm elections, an endorsement could put the race away for a particular candidate, and they are all openly competing with each other for the former president’s support.

One person familiar with the meeting told Politico that the event was like “The Hunger Games,” the dystopian trilogy of books and feature films; the candidates also had to sit at a circular table facing each other.

When Trump asked the group how the race was going, Timken mentioned discussed her work to reelect the former president.

Trump responded by pointing out that Timken had initially backed Gonzalez after the congressman voted to impeach him, which led Timken to say that she “cleaned” her stance by later calling on the congressman to resign, according to the report.

However, another individual familiar with the meeting said that Trump was just “teasing” Timken over her previous comments about Gonzalez.

The biggest source of tension was reportedly between Timken and Mandel, who have already launched their campaigns, while Gibbons and Moreno haven’t formally started their respective campaigns yet.

Mandel made a strong push for his candidacy, saying that he “hired a bunch of killers” for his campaign team.

“I’m a killer, and we’re going to win the primary and then the general,” he reportedly said.

Trump also showed a high level of interest in GOP Gov. Mike DeWine, whom the former president criticized after the governor referred to President Joe Biden as “president-elect” after the 2020 election was called last year.

DeWine is up for reelection in 2022.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Malcolm Kenyatta, a 30-year-old Democratic state lawmaker, could be Pennsylvania’s next senator in 2022

Malcolm Kenyatta
Pennsylvania State Representative Malcolm Kenyatta.

  • State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta has joined the 2022 Pennsylvania US Senate race.
  • Kenyatta, a 30-year-old progressive lawmaker, is a community activist from Philadelphia.
  • “My story certainly has a lot of distinct parts that are unique to me, but not that unique to most Pennsylvanians,” he said.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

When Pennsylvania state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta was a 12-year-old growing up in North Philadelphia, he got a job washing dishes at a restaurant to help his mother pay the bills.

Kenyatta describes his upbringing as “working poor,” with a keen understanding of the economic challenges that have left many families behind, from static wages to housing affordability.

“My story certainly has a lot of distinct parts that are unique to me, but not that unique to most Pennsylvanians,” he said. 

In 2018, Kenyatta, a community activist, was elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, becoming the first openly gay Black state legislator and one of the youngest members of the legislature.

Since being elected, he has pushed for an expansion of early voting statewide and worked to reduce homelessness in his North Philadelphia-anchored district, among other issues.

Last month, Kenyatta, 30, announced that he would be running for the Senate seat being vacated by two-term GOP Sen. Pat Toomey in 2022, in what will be one of the most competitive races in the country.

He will face Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman in a Democratic primary that will likely attract other high-profile candidates in the coming months.

Kenyatta recently spoke with Insider about his campaign. Below are edited excerpts from that interview.

Q. What inspired you to run for the Senate at this really critical time in our nation’s history?

A. Every generation has a responsibility to work to preserve and expand the promise of America – and that’s been a promise that has excluded a lot of people over time, but something we’ve always worked to broaden. Look at the compounding crises that have been more exacerbated as a result of COVID-19.

If you’re a working person, there were issues with housing prior to this cruel pandemic. There were issues with education. There were issues with wages. There were issues with being able to start a small business. What we need in this moment are people who understand what’s broken and can take us from where we are to where we need to go.

What legislative priorities have you been able to promote as a Democratic lawmaker in a GOP-controlled House?

Defense wins football games. It’s a big part of what we’ve had to do in not having the political math in our favor. One of the things we’ve had to do was stop some of the worst things. I’ve been on the front line of that, particularly as it related to protecting everybody’s votes.

I was able to build a big coalition against an “election integrity” committee that would have allowed that allowed the Republican majority to impound voting machines and physically compel election officials to come testify before sham hearings, while they were supposed to be counting every vote. Stopping that became a national story.

Malcolm Kenyatta
State Rep. Kenyatta speaks to members of the media near the Pennsylvania state Capitol in Harrisburg on December 14, 2020.

If elected to the Senate, what would be your three biggest priorities in office?

The first is mental health care for the young. This pandemic has stolen a lot in terms of lives and livelihoods, but it’s also stolen the ability for our young people to engage. Their lives have been turned upside down. I introduced a bill with a Republican colleague called Phillip’s Law that will help us completely reimagine the way we provide mental health care in our schools.

The second issue is dealing with deep poverty, which is the moral and economic issue of our generation.

The final thing we have to do is create hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs in clean energy.

You’re not taking money from corporate PACs. In the 2020 election cycle, over $2 billion was spent on the most competitive Senate races. Should there be campaign finance reform?

The problem with our system is the incredible amount of money that it takes to run. We’re going to raise money, but not with folks who have armies of lobbyists already. It has to be a movement of people who understand that working people haven’t been centered in our policy discussions. They’re going to be the ones with small-dollar donations.

We need to have a serious conversation about getting rid of Citizens United [vs. Federal Election Commission], which was one of the worst decisions to ever be handed down by the Supreme Court.

President Joe Biden favors canceling $10,000 in student loan debt per borrower, but has ruled out forgiving up to $50,000 in loans per borrower through execution action. What do you think should be done?

Canceling student loan debt is something that not only helps borrowers, but it helps our economy as we think about how to recover from the impact of the pandemic. We’ve been racking up a lot of debt because we haven’t dealt with college affordability. We haven’t looked at ways to make college free, which it ought to be in most instances. Getting rid of $50,000 and then even going beyond that is one of the ways that we can have robust stimulus in our economy.

What do you think your candidacy means for so many people who may not have seen themselves represented in government before?

I had a friend who called me the day after I announced and said she let her daughter stay up to watch my announcement. Her daughter said the next day – “Mommy, I can’t wait until I run for President, and Malcolm can advise my campaign.” There so many young people who are paying more attention than we give them credit for. They see candidates who represent the fullness of the American experience.

I know what it’s like to get an eviction notice. I know what it’s like for people who are worried about their electric and gas bills. They’re not academic exercises for me. This is my life. This is the life of the people I know and love.

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GOP Rep. Kevin McCarthy said he’d bet his ‘personal house’ that Republicans will ‘get the majority back’ in 2022

US House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy speaks during his weekly news conference December 5, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

  • Rep. Kevin McCarthy on Saturday said he’d bet his home on the odds that the GOP secures a majority in 2022.
  • “I would bet my house. My personal house. Don’t tell my wife, but I will bet it,” he said. 
  • Democrats have a slim majority in the House. Republicans will need to flip five seats to regain control.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy on Saturday said he’d wager his own home on Republicans reclaiming a House majority in 2022. 

“We’re going to get the majority back. We’re five seats away,” he told a crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

“I would bet my house. My personal house. Don’t tell my wife, but I will bet it,” he continued. “This is the smallest majority the Democrats have had in 100 years.”

In the 2020 elections, Democrats retained control of the House. Democrats now have a slim majority in the lower chamber, and Republicans need to flip just five seats to regain control. Democrats also took back the Senate from the Republicans, giving President Joe Biden a Democratic stronghold in Congress. 

McCarthy also said there’s “not a chance” the Republicans will lose in 2022. 

Since the days surrounding Biden’s formal inauguration into office, other Republicans have also begun to clamor about a potential GOP win in 2022. 

Earlier this month, for example, Sen. Lindsey Graham said he’d try to leverage former President Donald Trump’s influence to ensure that the Republican party takes back the House and Senate in 2022. 

In an interview with Politico, Graham said he planned to meet with Trump to discuss the future of the GOP and his role in it.

“I’m going to try and convince him that we can’t get there without you, but you can’t keep the Trump movement going without the GOP united,” Graham said.

“If we come back in 2022, then, it’s an affirmation of your policies,” he said about Trump. “But if we lose again in 2022, the narrative is going to continue that not only you lost the White House, but the Republican Party is in a bad spot.”

McCarthy’s office did not immediately return a request for comment. 

But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi fired back at McCarthy’s remarks in a statement to Insider:

“No one should be surprised the Minority Leader is willing to wager his home,” said Robyn Patterson, deputy communications director. “McCarthy doesn’t have much to give after sacrificing his integrity trying to cancel $1,400 survival checks for Americans trying to make ends meet during a deadly pandemic.”

Democrats and Republicans are once again clashing on the contents of the next stimulus bill. House Democrats this weekend approved a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package containing $1,400 stimulus checks for Americans.  

McCarthy, the House minority leader, was one of the bill’s dissenters, saying on the House floor that its price tag was untenable.

“The Democrats’ spending bill is too costly, too corrupt, and too liberal for the country,” the California Republican said. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

Lindsey Graham says he’ll try to convince Trump to help the GOP secure the House and Senate in 2022

Lindsey Graham
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., walks off after speaking to reporters during a news conference at the Capitol, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021, in Washington. Graham said Thursday that the president must accept his own role in the violence that occurred at the U.S. Capitol.

  • Sen. Lindsey Graham wants Trump to help drum up support for the GOP in the 2022 elections.
  • Graham will meet with Trump to talk about the future of the Republican party.
  • “I’m going to try and convince him that we can’t get there without you,” he told Politico.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Sen. Lindsey Graham wants to leverage former President Donald Trump’s influence to ensure that the Republican party takes back the House and Senate in 2022. 

In an interview with Politico, Graham said he’ll meet with Trump to discuss the future of the GOP and his role in it.

“I’m going to try and convince him that we can’t get there without you, but you can’t keep the Trump movement going without the GOP united,” Graham said on Friday.

“If we come back in 2022, then, it’s an affirmation of your policies,” he said. “But if we lose again in 2022, the narrative is going to continue that not only you lost the White House, but the Republican Party is in a bad spot.”

In the 2020 elections, Democrats took back the Senate from the House, giving President Joe Biden a Democratic stronghold in Congress. 

In the remaining weeks of his presidency, Trump signaled that he’d stay involved in politics. He had at one point planned to hold a 2024 campaign event ahead of an eventual potential second run at president. 

But support for Trump within the Republican party has dwindled.

The House of Representatives voted to impeach Trump a second time in January, just days after the January 6 riot during which insurrectionists stormed the Capitol building. House members impeached him on an “incitement of insurrection” charge.

Ten Republican House members were among those who voted to impeach Trump.

The Senate is set to vote later Saturday on whether to acquit or convict Trump. A conviction requires a two-thirds majority in the Senate, which means Trump is likely to be acquitted

Most Republican senators have come out ardently against the impeachment proceedings

Graham indicated he’s looking to channel that allyship with Trump into bolstering the GOP in the next mid-term election cycle. 

“Trump’s got to work with everybody,” Graham said. “You got to put your best team on the field. If it’s about revenge and going after people you don’t like, we’re going to have a problem. If this is about putting your best team on the field, we’ve got a decent chance at coming back.”

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