In Capital, a G.O.P. Crisis. At the R.N.C. Meeting, a Trump Celebration.


AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. — In Washington, Republicans had been dealing with a burgeoning catastrophe of their ranks, with high-profile resignations and bitter infighting over defend an erratic and isolated president. But at the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting on Friday, most celebration members had been working in a parallel universe.

In a chandelier-adorned ballroom at the seaside Ritz-Carlton acceptable related associated acceptable related acceptable acceptable related associated related related associated acceptable related associated acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable related related acceptable related related acceptable related acceptable acceptable related associated related related associated related related associated associated related associated associated associated associated associated associated associated related associated acceptable associated associated acceptable related associated acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable related related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable acceptable related related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable related associated acceptable related related related related related related associated related acceptable related related acceptable related related associated related related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated associated acceptable acceptable associated related acceptable acceptable acceptable related associated acceptable related associated associated related associated related acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable associated acceptable associated associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated related acceptable associated related acceptable associated related acceptable acceptable associated acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable related related related acceptable related related acceptable related related acceptable related related acceptable related related associated related associated associated associated associated associated acceptable associated related related acceptable related related acceptable related associated related acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable related associated acceptable associated related acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated related acceptable associated associated acceptable associated acceptable related acceptable acceptable related related acceptable associated related acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable associated associated related acceptable associated related acceptable associated associated related associated acceptable related acceptable acceptable related associated acceptable related related acceptable related acceptable related acceptable related acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable related associated acceptable related related acceptable related related related acceptable related related associated acceptable related associated acceptable related acceptable acceptable related acceptable acceptable related related acceptable related related related related related associated related associated acceptable acceptable associated associated acceptable associated acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated acceptable associated associated associated related associated associated acceptable related associated acceptable associated associated acceptable related associated acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable acceptable associated acceptable acceptable associated associated acceptable associated related acceptable acceptable associated acceptable related associated associated related associated acceptable associated acceptable associated associated acceptable associated associated acceptable associated related associated related associated related related related related related related related acceptable related associated acceptable related associated associated related associated related related associated related related associated related proper associated related proper associated related proper acceptable correct proper acceptable correct proper right correct proper right correct proper right here, there was no stage out of President Trump’s disruption of the coronavirus low price bundle deal deal or his cellphone resolve to the Georgia secretary of state demanding that he help steal the election, every of which contributed to Republicans’ shedding administration of the Senate.

And whereas the R.N.C. chair, Ronna McDaniel, condemned the assault on the Capitol, neither she nor one completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely 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completely different speaker a lot as publicly hinted at Mr. Trump’s place in inciting a mob assault on America’s seat of presidency.

Even as the president faces a doable second impeachment persevering with, this collective put collectively in gaze aversion was not the most inserting a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a part of the meeting. More revealing was the carry out for the silence from the stage: Party members, one after one completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely 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completely completely different, acknowledged in interviews that the president did not bear any blame for the violence at the Capitol and indicated that they wished him to proceed to play a foremost place in the celebration.

“I surely embrace President Trump,” acknowledged Michele Fiore, the committeewoman from Nevada, the place Republicans have misplaced two Senate races and the governorship since 2016. Ms. Fiore, who was sporting a Trump-emblazoned vest, acknowledged the president was “absolutely” a optimistic stress in the celebration.

The fealty to Mr. Trump was made plain on Friday when the state chairs and the committeemen and women who make up the R.N.C.’s governing board unanimously re-elected Ms. McDaniel, Mr. Trump’s handpicked chair. They moreover reappointed her co-chair, Tommy Hicks, who was first appointed to his put up on account of his friendship with the president’s eldest son.

Mr. Trump is the first president since Herbert Hoover to preside over the lack of the White House, the House and the Senate in a single time interval and should very exactly be the first since Andrew Johnson to boycott his successor’s inauguration. That hasn’t nonetheless fazed the Republican rank and file.

“This room, they’re in denial, and that’s on the record,” Bill Palatucci, a committeeman from New Jersey, acknowledged all by the use of a break in the Friday session, acknowledging the “damage done to the country” and the Republican “brand” this week.

But Mr. Palatucci was a lonely voice of dissent, at the least in public.

Privately, a group of Republican officers, largely these from the pre-Trump establishment wing of the celebration, acknowledged that they’d been appalled by the president’s conduct and that Ms. McDaniel had been candid about the celebration’s difficulties behind closed doorways.

These Republicans predicted with additional hope than confidence that after Mr. Trump was out of office, the ardor for him in the conservative base would cool.

Yet for now, the flames nonetheless burn.

“I would love to see him go into states that have some House seats we can flip in ’22,” acknowledged Terry Lathan, the Alabama G.OP. chair, who acknowledged “absolutely not” when she was requested if Mr. Trump bore any blame for the assault on the Capitol.

When a committee member took a informal survey on whose closed-door speech on Thursday members had favored elevated, that of Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota or of Nikki R. Haley, the former United Nations ambassador, the response was clear. The celebration officers hottest Ms. Noem’s, as a outcomes of she had not criticized Mr. Trump as Ms. Haley did in her remarks, a Republican conscious of the sampling acknowledged.

Earlier in the day on Thursday, when the president briefly generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally furthermore generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally generally usually usually usually often known as into a breakfast meeting, he was greeted by applause. And when the Missouri nationwide committeeman, Gordon Kinne, acknowledged at the breakfast that he was a supporter of the president nonetheless had been upset by his picks about the violence at the Capitol, he was met with a generally frosty response, based totally utterly completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely completely on one completely completely 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The loyalty to Mr. Trump ends in half from the turnover on the committee all by the use of his time interval. The president’s prime political lieutenants intervened to install loyalists in state and local G.O.P. conventions ahead of 2020. The goal was to prevent any party rule changes that could have made it easier to mount a primary challenge against Mr. Trump, but the end result was to leave the committee heavy with Trump devotees.

The changes also accelerated a trend that pre-dated Mr. Trump’s rise: the evolution of the committee from a body filled with canny political professionals and power brokers in their states to one dominated by dogmatic partisans well-marinated in Fox News and Facebook memes.

Perhaps more significant, the president has fostered a new wave of activism on the right — and many longstanding G.O.P. leaders fear alienating these newcomers to party politics.

“We can’t exist without the people he brought to the party — he’s changed the direction of the party,” said Paul Reynolds, the Republican committeeman from Alabama. “We’re a different party because of the people that came with him, and they make us a better party.”

Reta Hamilton, a committeewoman from Arkansas, said Mr. Trump should play “a leading part” in the G.O.P. in the future for just that reason — “to bring his voters,” she said.

Ms. Hamilton and other R.N.C. members also sought to rationalize questions about the damage to the Capitol and the images of Trump banners and Confederate flags littering the building.

“What was your reaction to Black Lives Matter looting and robbing and killing people?” she shot back brazenly before walking away.

Steve Scheffler, a committeeman from Iowa, was equally quick to invoke last summer’s at times destructive protests over racial justice and the news media’s coverage of them.

“Why doesn’t the press condemn the violence that happened in Portland and Seattle?” said Mr. Scheffler. “It’s a double standard.”

Asked if he felt there was an equivalence between the left-wing protests of 2020 and the violent attempt to subvert the election this week, he said: “Two wrongs don’t make a right. It’s all bad.”

In her remarks to the committee, Ms. McDaniel, the niece of Senator Mitt Romney, thanked Mr. Trump for his faith in her and never directly acknowledged that Mr. Trump had been defeated, only referring to her frustration at “losing critical elections.”

As for the president’s own denial about his loss, she did not rebut the conspiracy theories he has pushed, and that the party’s base has echoed.

Addressing the Republican “grass roots,” she vowed to work with state legislatures to “make sure what we saw in this election never happens again.”

Ms. McDaniel went on to criticize the effort by House Democrats to withdraw gender-specific words like “wife” and “husband” from the rule book governing the chamber.

The standing ovation she received was a reminder that disdain for the left’s perceived excesses is the most animating, and unifying, force on the right. This brand of oppositional politics could help paper over Republicans’ challenges when they run as the out-of-power party next year.

Indeed, much of Ms. McDaniel’s speech was Republican red meat. There were warnings against socialism, attacks on the four liberal congresswomen known as “the squad” and boasting about the diverse class of lawmakers who helped the party gain House seats in November despite Mr. Trump’s broad unpopularity. “Candidates matter,” she said, alluding to new lawmakers.

David Bossie, one of Mr. Trump’s advisers and the Maryland committeeman, insisted that the party’s losses had been on the margins.

“You don’t have to throw out everybody when there’s nothing fundamentally wrong,” Mr. Bossie said.

A handful of committee members, however, believe more reflection is desperately needed, particularly after this week. “We’re whistling past the graveyard,” said Henry Barbour, the Mississippi committeeman, who called Mr. Trump’s conduct before the riot “totally unacceptable.”

Few of his counterparts, though, would criticize the president.

Asked if Mr. Trump was still the effective leader of the G.O.P., the Wyoming Republican chair, Frank Eathorne, said, “The way Wyoming sees it, yes.”



Source link Nytimes.com

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