2022 election will determine how long the GOP will remain Trump’s party
There is no doubt that the Republican Party remains Donald Trump’s party, but the future of the GOP must be a movement based on more than the personality of one person, said South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham. National exam in an interview on Friday.
The exact influence the former president will continue to wield within the party will be determined in the 2022 election, which Republicans are well positioned to win, Graham, one of the speakers on Friday at the Road to conference, said. Majority of the Faith & Freedom Coalition. .
“The key to 2022 is putting your best team on the pitch,” Graham said of reclaiming the US House and Senate. “The question is, are we going to allow the most eligible candidates to get out of primary? This is where Trump becomes important.
Graham had a complicated relationship, over and over again, with Trump. He was one of Trump’s harshest critics in the run-up to the 2016 election, but he ended up developing a close working relationship with Trump after winning the presidency. Graham joked at Friday’s conference that after Trump’s victory in 2016 they found “common ground.”
“That common ground is that he likes her, and I’ve come to like him,” Graham said.
Graham had harsh words for the former president after the violent mob ransacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan.6 – he said it “tarnished” Trump’s legacy – but they have since reconciled.
Graham acknowledged that Trump is still the most powerful and polarizing figure in the Republican Party. If Trump left the party tomorrow, “half the party would go with him,” Graham said, so trying to chart the future of the Republican Party without Trump is not an option.
Graham said that when speaking with Trump, he points out that if Republicans lose next year, the Capitol Riot is likely to be Trump’s figurative obituary, and the party will have to do a lot of soul searching. But if Trump is seen as having helped Republicans take over the House and Senate, “no one is going to beat him,” Graham said.
“I said to the president, when you’re looking to support someone whether you like it or not – if you’re looking for revenge, which always tastes good – remember your legacy is at stake here, your viability as a future the figure is at stake here. Because if we lose another cycle, I think there will be a realization that we have to make a fundamental change, ”Graham said. “The loudest, most Trumpian person in the room may not be the best person to win.”
Graham is optimistic about the GOP’s chances in 2022, especially in the House, where Republicans will only need to overthrow about half a dozen seats.
“The Democrats are doing their part to get us back into the majority,” Graham said. “Their agenda is much more liberal than most people realize. “
In the long run, Republicans are grappling with “how to get the most out of Trump, how to keep the Trump movement alive,” even without Trump leading the party, Graham said. “It has to be a movement, not a personality,” he said.
Republicans must win back the college-educated suburban women who fled the party last year not because of politics but because of Trump’s pugilistic style, Graham said. To win minority voters, the party needs to recruit candidates who “look more like America,” he said, and GOP alumni need to do a better job of talking conservatism with younger voters, who are more tolerant of social issues and comfortable tackling topics such as climate change.
Graham said Trump’s policies remain popular across the Conservative base and that in many cases – border security and law enforcement support, for example – they are popular even among voters who do not consider themselves to be Republicans. Democrats, on the other hand, are not united on politics, he said.
“Democrats are basically trapped by their base,” Graham said. “They cannot do things to restore order at the border. It’s going to be a problem for them. They are being pushed on Israel to be more sympathetic to Hamas. They are pushed to declare war on the police. I just think that with the right set of candidates, the stakes are our greatest asset. Politics is our friend. Personality must be mastered. “
Graham was honored with the Faith & Freedom Coalition’s Antonin Scalia Defender of Justice Award on Friday for his defense of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in his controversial confirmation fight in 2018, and for his advocacy for justice Amy Coney Barrett last year.
Graham, who ran for president in 2016, has said he has no plans to run for re-election in 2024.