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Republicans grapple with a post-Trump future – Latest News, Breaking News, Top News Headlines

For the first time in more than a decade, Republicans are facing a Washington in which Democrats control the White House and Congress, so they must prepare for an era of reduced power, enormous uncertainty and internal disputes.

The change of status to a minority is always difficult and generates debates about who are to blame for the latest electoral defeat, but the process is particularly intense this time as the Republican Party will have to answer deep questions about what it stands for without Donald Trump to position.

For the past four years, the values ​​of the Republican Party were inexorably tied to the whims of a president who frequently undermined democratic institutions and transformed the party’s enduring commitment to fiscal discipline, militaristic foreign policy, and the rule of law, replacing all with an aggressive and inconsistent populism.

The party must now make the decision to continue in that direction, as demanded by the most loyal Trump supporters, or to take a new course.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, one of the few elected Republicans in his office and who regularly condemned Trump’s actions, evoked President Ronald Reagan, considering that the party is facing “a time to choose.”

“We have to decide whether we are going to keep heading in the direction of Donald Trump or we are going to go back to our roots,” Hogan, a potential contender for the White House by 2024, said in an interview.

“The party would be much better off if it decides to purge itself of Donald Trump,” he added. “But I don’t think he will completely disappear.”

Whether the party will leave this term behind could depend on what Republicans like Texas Sen. Ted Cruz do next.

Cruz spent weeks repeating Trump’s unsubstantiated allegations of election fraud, which helped incite the fatal break-in on Capitol Hill.

Republican election officials in several decisive states ultimately won by President Joe Biden have maintained that the election was fair. Trump’s allegations were roundly rejected in court, including by Trump-appointed judges.

Cruz acknowledged Biden’s win on Wednesday but declined to describe it as legitimate when pressured to do so.

“He won the election. He is the president. I just got back from my inauguration, ”Cruz said of Biden in an interview.

Looking ahead, Cruz said Trump would remain an important part of the political conversation, but added that the Republican Party should move away from the divisive “language and tone and rhetoric” that distanced voters from the suburbs, particularly the women, in recent elections.

“President Trump will certainly continue to give his opinions, and they will continue to have a real impact, but I think the country wants to move towards policies that work, and I think that as a party we need to do a better job of conquering hearts and minds,” said Cruz. , who also aspires to the White House.

After the Capitol storming, a small but notable faction of prominent Republicans are taking a stronger stance against Trump or distancing themselves from him.

Top Senate Republican Mitch McConnell said just before Biden’s ceremony that the pro-Trump mob that stormed the Capitol was “provoked by the president.” Even Mike Pence, Trump’s vice president and long considered his most devoted supporter, missed Trump’s exit ceremony to attend Biden’s inauguration.

Trump retired to his South Florida property, where he has assembled a small group of former White House advisers who will work from a two-level guest residence on the Mar-a-Lago property.

In addition to advisers in Washington, Trump will have access to a well-funded political action committee, Save America PAC, which will most likely inherit tens of millions of dollars in donations that saturated his campaign coffers after his electoral defeat.

Those close to Trump believe he will keep a low profile for the foreseeable future as he focuses on the impending impeachment against him for inciting the riots, but he is expected to resurface after that, most likely giving interviews and seeking a new forum. on social media after losing his strong megaphone on Twitter.

Trump made a disturbing promise when he left the White House for the last time as president: “We will be back in some way.”

Trump left office with an approval rating of 34%, according to Gallup – the lowest level in his presidency – but the overwhelming majority of Republicans, 82%, approved of his performance in office. And even if some of them try to move on, Trump’s continued popularity on the GOP ranks guarantees him that he will remain a political force.

Despite the many challenges from the Republican Party, they are close to retaking one or both houses of Congress in next year’s midterm elections. Since the 2006 midterm elections, the party in the White House has lost an average of 37 House seats.

Currently, Democrats hold a 10-seat majority in the lower house and are tied with Republicans in the Senate.

“I hope that the Republicans do not participate in this vicious and vindictive final attack directed at President Trump,” Cruz said. “We should move on.”

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