Cheney, Kinzinger to headline anti-Trump counter to CPAC: ‘We’ll see how many folks show up’

As former President Donald Trump and a host of conservative speakers gather for the annual Conservative Political Action Conference this month, critics are launching their own “counterprogramming” at the same time.

U.S. Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois will be cheered on by Republicans who are not fans of the former president in Washington, D.C., this week in a two-day conference, called “Principles First: The Summit,” according to CBS News.

The event, set for February 26-27 at the National Press Club, will coincide with CPAC being held in Orlando, Florida. That conservative gathering will feature Trump, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and former Democrat Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard among others.

Heath Mayo, a GOP attorney and founder of Principles First for America, confirmed to CBS News the schedule for the summit celebrating never-Trumpers and RINOs and said the event would “certainly be counterprogramming of CPAC.”

Responding to a tweet from CPAC chair Matt Schlapp, Mayo wrote that his group is “putting something together that’s much better than CPAC.”

“We want to come together in a visual show of support for people who have taken stands for ideas when it hasn’t been comfortable,” Mayo told CBS News. “You don’t see those folks, yet, in rooms that are energized. But I think the energy is there. We’ll see how many folks show up.”

“I believe there is a lane here for 2024. The party is completely stuck in a rut talking about if the last election is legitimate and if Liz Cheney, [Maryland Governor Larry] Hogan, or someone else is compelling and wants to run, I think a lot of people would listen,” he added.

Retired Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, who testified in the first impeachment of Trump, and Capitol Police Office Harry Dunn are also reportedly speaking at the event as well as Georgia’s Republican lieutenant governor, Geoff Duncan. Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger will deliver a remote address to attendees.

“Cheney will speak to the summit remotely on February 26, and Kinzinger will deliver a closing keynote speech on February 27, according to the schedule. Former Virginia Republican Congressman Denver Riggleman, who is a senior staffer on the select committee, is also scheduled to speak,” CBS News reported.

Earlier this month, the Republican National Committee approved a resolution to censure Cheney and Kinzinger who are both part of Nancy Pelosi’s House committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.


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