CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference, has been making headlines recently for a variety of reasons. Some of the highlights include false claims being made by Republicans at the conference, as well as veiled jabs taken at former President Donald Trump by former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.
One of the biggest stories coming out of CPAC, however, is the news that Trump himself is expected to blast “Bush Republicans” in his speech at the conference. According to a scoop from Axios, Trump will use his speaking slot at CPAC to attack members of his own party who he feels do not support him or his policies strongly enough.
This development has led to some controversy among conservatives, with some arguing that it is a mistake for CPAC to focus so heavily on Trump, and that his continued presence in the party is an embarrassment. Writing for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, one commentator called it a mistake for CPAC to “tout” Trump, and argued that he is an embarrassment to conservatives.
Meanwhile, Pompeo used his time at the conference to call for courage from conservatives, but was still afraid to say Trump’s name directly. According to The Independent, Pompeo urged conservatives to “speak truth to power,” but stopped short of endorsing Trump by name.
Overall, CPAC has been a fascinating look at the state of the Republican Party in the post-Trump era. While some are still firmly in the former president’s corner, others are starting to distance themselves from him – or at least to voice more nuanced opinions about his legacy. Whatever happens next, it’s clear that CPAC will continue to be a key battleground for political power and ideas on the conservative side of the aisle.