Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., the head of the Republican Study Committee, warned the GOP Saturday that it’s “destined” to lose in the 2022 and 2024 election if former President Donald Trump and his supporters are rejected.
Appearing with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Banks helped set an agenda for “winning back America” at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference held this year in Orlando, Fla., praising Trump for appealing to working class Americans.
“President Trump has taught us a lot about appealing to working class voters, he made our party the working class party again,” the lawmaker said, according to Fox News.
Pointing to anti-Trump voices in the party, including the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump, a cabal led by Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., Banks said erasing Trump is a recipe for disaster.
“We do have a few voices in the Republican Party that want to erase Donald Trump and the voters he represents in our party,” Banks said. “If we do that we’re destined to lose elections in 2022, there’s no way we’ll win the White House in 2024.”
Rep. Jim Banks: “The most popular Republican figure in Congress today is Kevin McCarthy. Let me tell you who the least popular Republicans in the party are today — they are those very few Republicans who want to erase Donald Trump and Donald Trump supporters from our party.” pic.twitter.com/LBo7ZUBjVu
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 27, 2021
With Trump exerting his undeniable influence on the Republican Party during his Sunday speech at CPAC, even teasing a potential 2024 run — at one point he called wife Melania Trump the “future first lady” — Banks emphasized the working class connection, expressing optimism about a future with Trump involved.
“[Trump’s] footprint on the Republican Party is a strong one and a positive one and in many ways but none more so than making our party the party of the working class,” he said.
“If we lose sight of that, Republicans won’t win elections for a long time, but if we remain focused on policies that put working Americans first and what we stand for as a Republican Party, I believe we’re destined to win back the majority, a large majority and whether it’s Donald Trump or another figure who emerges and runs on this agenda, we’re going to win back the White House in 2024 and America’s going to be better off,” he said.
Watch what happened: pic.twitter.com/u2k8Ov92ei
— RSC (@RepublicanStudy) February 28, 2021
Under Banks’ leadership, expect to hear more from the Republican Study Committee.
“What the president taught us is how to fight back,” he told Politico. “The Republican Party base was looking for a fighter and they got that in Donald Trump.”
“Will the GOP reflect that moving forward? I think that’s a big question,” Banks said. “What you’ve seen with RSC is we’re a quiet group and we’re not going to be quiet any longer.”
The working class angle was popular at CPAC, as Sen. Ted Cruz referenced this while assuring those gathered that “Donald J. Trump isn’t going anywhere.”
“The Republican Party is not the party just of the country clubs,” Cruz said in his speech. “The Republican Party is the party of steelworkers and construction workers and pipeline workers and taxi cab drivers and cops and firefighters and waiters and waitresses and the men and women with calluses on their hands who are working for this country. That is our party, and these deplorables are here to stay.”
Cruz was equally optimistic, saying that Biden and his handlers are overshooting with their disastrous policies.
“Mark my words, 2022 is going to be a fantastic election year, and so is 2024,” he said.
On that note, McCarthy was willing to bet the house he lives in on that the GOP takes back the House next election cycle.
“My personal house — don’t tell my wife, but I would bet it!” he said.
Banks said of the GOP leader Saturday, “Kevin McCarthy is the right leader for the right time to win back the majority; he’s going to be the best Speaker of the House in a generation.”
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