“A Republican Party that seeks to erase President Trump and fails to understand his appeal to working-class voters is destined to lose elections in 2022, 2024, and beyond,” tweeted Banks, the chair of the House Republican Study Committee.
“As a conservative leader in the GOP I’m determined to make sure that won’t happen.”
Trump has faced blowback from some GOP officials, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) as well as seven senators who voted to convict him during his impeachment trial. McConnell voted to acquit Trump, arguing that it would be unconstitutional to do so, but he went a step further and suggested the former president could face civil or criminal prosecution for his Jan. 6 speech to supporters.
In a strongly worded opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal this week, the Kentucky Republican suggested that it was Trump’s post-election statements that cost Republicans the Senate majority.
But on Tuesday night, the former president excoriated McConnell’s leadership and called for a new Senate leader. Later, Trump said that he will support Republicans who endorse his agenda.
“He will never do what needs to be done, or what is right for our Country. Where necessary and appropriate, I will back primary rivals who espouse Making America Great Again and our policy of America First. We want brilliant, strong, thoughtful, and compassionate leadership,” Trump said via his Save America PAC.
In the lead-up to the Jan. 5 Georgia Senate runoff elections, Trump tweeted that Congress should pass a stimulus bill with $2,000 direct payments to Americans. Republicans in the Senate, including McConnell, however, balked at the prospect—while Democratic leaders moved to endorse Trump’s idea.
Prominent Democrats, including then-President-elect Joe Biden, went to Georgia and suggested that if Democrats get the Senate majority, the $2,000 checks will be passed.
“Then came the Georgia disaster, where we should have won both U.S. Senate seats, but McConnell matched the Democrat offer of $2,000 stimulus checks with $600. How does that work?” Trump asked in his statement. “It became the Democrats’ principal advertisement, and a big winner for them it was.”
Meanwhile, several polls conducted after Trump left office revealed that the former president is the most popular figure among Republicans. One recent poll found that about 70 percent of Republicans would consider joining a Trump-backed political party.