Former RNC Chair Has Three Short Words For Republicans Wanting A Trump Party
Former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele had a terse message Monday to Conservatives who would leave the Republican Party to follow former President Donald Trump.
"46% of people say they'll follow Trump," Steele said on MSNBC's Morning Joe. "I think OK, there is the door. You do your thing and we just take the pieces on this side and keep moving. And that's the battle."
He discussed a Suffolk University / USA Today poll that found that 46% of Republicans polled would leave the GOP and join a Trump party if the former president decided to start one. Only 27% of the respondents said they didn't. The remaining number said they were undecided.
The results showed that a multitude of Republicans favored Trump, despite the deadly January 6 uprising in the U.S. Capitol, led by his supporters, who tried to overthrow the elections and violate lawmakers who stood in Trump's way . Trump's actions in inciting the attack on the Capitol resulted in his second impeachment by the US House. He was acquitted in the Senate.
Steele headed the RNC from 2009 to 2011. He was a loud critic of Trump for years and in 2020 he joined the conservative anti-Trump group The Lincoln Project in the fight against the 45th President.
The poll results show how deeply Trump's rhetoric has become embedded in the party, Steele said.
"You can't turn the corner on that," he said. "You have national leadership on the way to Mar-a-Lago to speak to Trump," he said, referring to meetings between Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) And Steve Scalise (R. -La.) And the former president of Florida since leaving office. "About what?"
He said the GOP should focus now on what it does next.
"And this is where the lines of battle are drawn," he said, referring to representatives Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) And Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), Who were both criticized within the party for voting with Democrats against charges Trump in January.
"[They] stand on one side and say, 'Here's the rational, conservative approach to small government, effective leadership, individual freedoms, and so on," said Steele. "And then there is this. The Trump Party. "
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.
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