On Monday, President Trump’s leadership political action committee, Save America PAC, sent out a notice warning the Republican Party that neither he nor his PAC will endorse ‘RINOs,’ or ‘Republicans In Name Only.’
The former President has been busy since leaving office.
Also on Monday, legal counsel for Trump sent cease-and-desist letters to the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and the National Republican Congressional Committee that orders them to stop using Trump’s name for their fundraising activities.
In the RINOs statement, Trump declared, “No more money for RINOS period. They do nothing but hurt the Republican Party and our great voting base – they will never lead us to Greatness. Send your donation to Save America PAC at DonaldJTrump.com. We will bring it all back stronger than ever before.”
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In a report from Politico, the RNC is apparently refusing any such cease-and-desist order, and RNC Chief Counsel Justin Reimer stated that the committee “has every right to refer to public figures as it engages in core, First-Amendment protected political speech, and it will continue to do so in pursuit of these common goals.”
Essentially they claim that they are allowed to use Trump’s likeness and name because he is a public figure.
While none of the committees who received cease-and-desist letters commented, some who work closely on GOP campaigns say that it is “impossible not to use Trump’s name because his policies are popular with the base.”
Knowing that ‘RINOs’ will likely use Trump’s policies as mere campaign rhetoric, while governing as establishment Republicans, could be Trump’s impetus for his statements.
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Republicans surely know that the one endorsement GOP candidates will want is that of Donald Trump.
He has already begun endorsing candidates for 2022 such as South Carolina Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA), and Sen. John Boozman (R-AR).
He has also given an early endorsement to former White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who has announced a run for Governor in Arkansas, and the re-election of Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas.
But he’s not just bringing endorsements.
Trump stated on Saturday that he would be campaigning against Sen. Lisa Murkowski, one of seven Republican Senators who voted to convict Trump during his second impeachment trial.
She is the only one of the seven that is up for re-election in 2022.
Murkowski had some harsh statements for Trump immediately following the Capitol riot:
“On the day of the riots, President Trump’s words incited violence, which led to the injury and deaths of Americans — including a Capitol Police officer — the desecration of the Capitol, and briefly interfered with the government’s ability to ensure a peaceful transfer of power.”
“Such unlawful actions cannot go without consequence and the House has responded swiftly, and I believe, appropriately, with impeachment.”
Trump fired back in the way his supporters expect:
“I will not be endorsing, under any circumstances, the failed candidate from the great State of Alaska, Lisa Murkowski. She represents her state badly and her country even worse. I do not know where other people will be next year, but I know where I will be — in Alaska campaigning against a disloyal and very bad Senator.”
Trump also went on to criticize Murkowski’s vote to confirm President Joe Biden’s pick for Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland.
“Her vote to advance radical left Democrat Deb Haaland for Secretary of the Interior is yet another example of Murkowski not standing up for Alaska.”
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The next election cycle could be a tricky one for Republicans. Currently, there are only five seats separating them from taking back control of the House.
But in the Senate, there are several who have decided against running for re-election, and Democrats are most certainly eying those seats.
Sens. Richard Burr (R-NC) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) have already announced they will not be seeking re-election. Toomey had voted for convict Trump.
On Monday, Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) also announced he would not seek another term. Blunt holds several Republican leadership positions and is a close ally of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
In addition, Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Richard Shelby (R-AL) are also retiring. This could give the United States Senate a very different look after 2022.
Trump and his PAC would most likely be involved in endorsing candidates for those seats.
More Trump-endorsed Senators may be at odds with more moderate Republicans like Sens. Mitt Romney and Susan Collins.
It is an illustration that for many long-time GOP Senators, the Republican Party may no longer be their domain.
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