In his first on-stage appearance since inciting the mob behind the deadly insurrection at the Capitol last month, former President Trump’s speech on Sunday evening that served as a grand finale of CPAC made clear that he has no plans to leave the GOP as he further peddled his “big lie” of widespread election fraud.
Responding to reports indicating that Trump could form a new party to siphon off his supporters from the GOP, the former president denied those claims to his enthralled supporters at CPAC.
“They kept saying, ‘He’s going to start a brand-new party.’ We have the Republican party. It’s going to unite and be stronger than ever before,” Trump said. “I am not starting a new party. That was fake news.”
After telling the crowd at CPAC that forming a party separate from the GOP would “divide our vote so that you can never win,” Trump went on to specifically call out Republicans who dared to vote in favor of his impeachment.
“The Democrats don’t have grand standards like Mitt Romney, little Ben Sasse, Richard Burr, Bill Cassidy, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Pat Toomey,” Trump said. “And in the House: Tom Rice, Adam Kinzinger, Dan Newhouse, Anthony Gonzalez — that’s another beauty — Fred Upton, Jamie Herrera Beutler, Peter Meier, John Katko, David Valadao, and the warmonger — a person that loves seeing our troops fighting — Liz Cheney.”
The rest of the speech was a low-energy version of his standard fare — taking credit for Republicans’ down-ballot success, serving up culture war red meat and casually slinging xenophobic rhetoric by referring to the COVID-19 pandemic as the “China virus.”
Scroll down for full coverage of Trump’s speech: