Donald Trump’s speech at the annual CPAC conference did not go over well with one prominent GOP strategist.
The president spoke on Saturday at the finale of the annual conservative conference, a two-hour speech described as “rambling” by a number of media outlets, an address in which he spun tales about the dangers of illegal immigrants and attacked Robert Mueller for leading the Russia investigation. The speech was widely criticized for the false claims that Trump made, but it also struck a sour note with some in Trump’s own party, including GOP strategist Rick Tyler.
In an appearance on MSNBC, Tyler said he was upset to see how the Republican Party had turned on many of its ideals to embrace the opposite of those in Donald Trump. He said the conference, which was, at one time, a chance for members to come together around conservative ideals, is now simply a celebration of Trump himself.
“The people there talk about being pro-tariffs, anti-justice, anti-law enforcement, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, pro-Russia, pro-autocrat,” Tyler said, via Raw Story. “It’s unrecognizable what Donald Trump has done to the party and what he’s done to the conservative movement — it’s a shame.”
Tyler pointed out how Trump embraced many of the stances the Republican Party once railed against, including his frequent attacks on intelligence agencies and members of the military who oppose him.
When asked whether anything could be done to revive the party, Tyler answered that, “The Republican Party is dead.”
He added that once Trump is gone from the party — one way or another — the Republican Party will no longer exist as it once had because it had given up so many of its core beliefs in embracing Trump.
Even Donald Trump did not spare the Republican Party during the speech, taking aim at members of the party who had opposed him in the past and saying that the so-called “Never-Trumpers” were now on “mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.” As Rolling Stone noted, Trump also made a number of statements during the speech that were categorically untrue, including claims that Democrats want to kill babies after they have been born.
GOP strategist stunned by reception to Trump’s ‘unhinged’ CPAC speech: The Republican Party is dead https://t.co/5gX8UewngC
— The Progressive Mind (@Libertea2012) March 2, 2019
There are signs of opposition to Donald Trump within the Republican Party ahead of the 2020 presidential election, including rumblings that figures like former Ohio Governor John Kasich could run against him in a Republican primary. But Trump remains widely popular within the party and is expected to defeat any potential challengers to the nomination.