Despite his most recent tribulations, attacks, and accusations, it seems that not only his base but the Republican party remains solidly in Donald Trump’s corner.
In 2016, Donald Trump overtook the Republican National Committee through a shock and awe campaign that stunned party leaders. In 2020, the party was obligated to support him as the sitting Republican president.
Heading into 2024, however, the Republican Party has a choice – and it looks like they made it – stick with Trump!
The RNC, which controls the party’s rules and infrastructure, is under no obligation to support Trump again. In fact, the GOP’s bylaws specifically require neutrality should more than one candidate seek the party’s presidential nomination. However, as Republican officials from across the country recently gathered in Utah for the RNC’s winter meeting, party leaders devoted considerable energy to disciplining Trump’s rivals and embracing the former Presidents grievances. As the earliest stages of the next presidential contest take shape, their actions made clear that choosing to serve Trump and his political interests remains a focus for the party. In fact, it seems like instead of drawing away from Trump, the GOP is tightening their ties to him and excoriating any who dares cross the ex-president.
“If President Trump decides he’s running, absolutely the RNC needs to back him, 100%,” said Michele Fiore, an RNC committeewoman who has represented Nevada since 2018. “We can change the bylaws.”
The loyalty to Trump is a fresh reminder that one of America’s major political parties is deepening its alignment with a figure who the left claims is “undermining the nation’s democratic principles.”
Away from the ballrooms of the RNC meeting, former VP Mike Pence, for the first time since the Jan. 6 riots – rebuked Trump, saying he had “no right to overturn the election” and that his former boss was ”wrong” to suggest otherwise.
But that kind of dissent was rare in Salt Lake City. In censuring two GOP lawmakers who have criticized Trump and joined the committee probing the Jan. 6 insurrection, the RNC channeled the former president in assailing the panel for leading a “persecution of ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse.”
Pence, whose life was threatened on Jan. 6, is one of a few Republicans making moves toward a 2024 campaign regardless of whether Trump wages a comeback bid. If he were to run for the White House again, Trump is such a powerful force with the GOP base that he probably wouldn’t need the party’s help to become the nominee – but except for a few outliers, her appears to still have the GOPs full support.
Clearly, there’s a bias that didn’t exist in the past,” said Tim Miller, who previously worked for the Republican National Committee and has since emerged as a fierce Trump critic. “It’s all Trump all the time coming out of there.”
Regarding the RNC’s censure of Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger for serving on the Jan. 6 committee, Trump weighed in with a statement congratulating the RNC and for their “great ruling” censuring “two Horrible RINOs.”