Former US President Donald Trump has said he has no plans to form a new political party, instead promising to unite a Republican party that broke up after his supporters invaded Capitol Hill. United States in a deadly riot.
In his first major speech since leaving the White House last month, Trump said the GOP “will come together and be stronger than ever.”
“I am not starting a new party. It was fake news, ”he told the crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Sunday afternoon.
“We will be united and strong like never before. We will save and strengthen America and we will fight against the onslaught of radicalism, socialism and indeed it all leads to communism, ”said Trump, who spent much of his speech. hit with US President Joe Biden.
Trump repeated his false allegations the November presidential election was stolen from him and also hinted at another possible presidential election.
“They just lost the White House,” Trump said. “But who knows, who knows, I might even decide to beat them a third time.”
His supporters have dominated this year’s conference, held in Florida due to the state’s loose restrictions on gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As the largest annual gathering of Republicans and conservatives in the country, CPAC generally indicates the direction of the Republican Party and its supporters.
While past meetings have served as a forum for debate among a broad coalition of U.S. conservatives, attendees at this year’s meeting spent the weekend expressing their commitment to Trump and asserting his continued dominance of the party.
The event comes as deep divisions have emerged within the Republican Party following the Jan.6 insurgency on Capitol Hill and weeks of false claims by Trump and his supporters that the election was marred by widespread voter fraud .
‘At war with himself’
John Hendren of Al Jazeera, who reported in Orlando on Sunday, said the conference brought together “the pro-Trump side of the Republican Party” – the party, he said, is currently “at war with it -” even”.
Pro-Trump Republicans have defended Trump amid accusations of inciting the mob of his supporters who invaded the Capitol building, while others have publicly criticized him and some have even voted for his impeachment.
Republican lawmakers who have criticized Trump, including MP Liz Cheney and former Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, were not welcome at the conference, Hendren said.
“It’s his effort to control this party,” Hendren reported.
Trump supporters have traveled across the country to see the former president’s first remarks since he stepped down in January.
Pro-Trump hats, shirts and other accessories were on display at the conference, where attendees took photos next to a gold statue of the former president.
Vickie Froehlich, who was a delegate to the Republican National Convention when Trump was first nominated in 2016, came to CPAC from Minneapolis, Minnesota. If the Republicans abandoned Trump, she said, “that would be a huge mistake.”
“I think he’s been great for our country. He’s still very popular, ”Froehlich told Al Jazeera.
Speakers who took to the stage over the weekend, including Senators Rick Scott of Florida, Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley of Missouri, announced their support for Trump’s continued political mission.
In roundtable discussions, lawmakers and activists also argued against the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election results and warned of leftist plots to silence conservative rhetoric.
“I’m not backing down,” said Hawley, one of the Republican senators who voted to overturn the US election results, earning him a long standing ovation at the conference. “No chance! No chance!”
Chris Moody contributed to this report from Orlando, Florida