PanamaTimes

Wednesday, Feb 28, 2024

Republican presidential aspirants Pompeo, Haley take veiled jabs at Trump in CPAC remarks

Two leading Republicans took veiled jabs at former President Donald Trump at an annual gathering of conservatives Friday, knocking “celebrity leaders” not in tune with reality while noting winnable elections that had been lost as they urged a party course correction ahead of the 2024 presidential contest.
But their refusal to call him out by name underscored the risks faced by potential and declared challengers worried about alienating Trump’s loyal base.

In their remarks, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley — both of whom served in the Trump administration — offered a snapshot of how the former president’s declared and potential 2024 opponents are trying to delicately navigate his dominant role in the party while looking for ways to differentiate themselves in what could be a nasty and crowded primary contest.

“We can’t become the left, following celebrity leaders with their own brand of identity politics, those with fragile egos who refuse to acknowledge reality,” Pompeo said in an afternoon speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

Haley, who launched her campaign last month, hit on similar themes, noting the party has lost the popular vote in seven of the last eight presidential elections.

“Our cause is right but we have failed to win the confidence of a majority of Americans. That ends now. If you’re tired of losing, put your trust in a new generation. And if you want to win — not just as a party, but as a country — then stand with me,” Haley said.

While she received polite applause throughout her speech, several attendees chanted “Trump! Trump! Trump!” as she walked through the venue.

It was a sign of the dissonance at the event as potential and declared challengers tried to make inroads at a gathering that has become closely aligned with the former president. While other declared and likely candidates were offered speaking slots, Trump has been given top billing as the Saturday evening headliner, and his son Donald Trump Jr. has been mobbed throughout the conference by excited fans.

Haley and Pompeo were among a handful of announced or potential Republican presidential candidates who attended the CPAC event, which was once a must-stop for GOP hopefuls but has been less of a draw this year.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina skipped the event this year as it’s been dimmed by controversy and its overt homage to Trump.

Like Haley, Pompeo noted recent Republican losses over the years and blamed the party for its shortcomings.

“We lost race after winnable race. It’s because voters didn’t trust us to do any better than the tax-and-spend liberals,” he said, echoing a criticism raised by some attendees. “Every recent administration, Republican and Democrat alike, added trillions in dollars to our debt. That is deeply unconservative.”

More broadly, he said that voters had “lost trust in conservative ideas.”

“Losing is bad because losing is bad. But the principles that we stand for are what’s really at risk. And it’s not a political problem. The problem is that the losses are a symptom of something much bigger. It’s a crisis in conservatism,” he said. “We’ve lost confidence that we are right.”

In an interview before his speech, Pompeo told The Associated Press that he had chosen to attend this year’s event because it’s “a great group of people who represent a broad swath of our party.”

He brushed aside the significance of Saturday’s straw poll of CPAC attendees on their 2024 presidential preference, an unscientific survey that Trump is expected to win, while noting that the election is more than a year and a half away.

“There’s a long way to go. There’s lots of ground to cover and I think everyone who decides to get in the race will have a lot of opportunity in the fall to make their case,” Pompeo said. “I’ve been in straw polls. I’ve done great. I’ve done less great. I don’t think it says a whole lot about how this will end.”

Pompeo, one of a long list of potential candidates, said he is still mulling a decision about whether to challenge his former boss for the nomination.

“Still working our way through, figuring it out,” he said, adding that he and his family were “now within a couple months of a decision.” In the meantime, “we’re doing all the things one would do to be prepared to make the case to the American people,” Pompeo said.

Pompeo also said without hesitation that he will support the eventual Republican nominee, quipping, “It seems unlikely that President Biden would be someone I could get behind.”

That stands in contrast to Pence, who declined to say Thursday whether he would back his former boss if Trump ends up the party’s pick in 2024.

“I think we’ll have better choices,” Pence told The Associated Press in an interview in South Carolina. “I’m persuaded that no one could have defeated Hillary Clinton in 2016 except Donald Trump, but I think we live in a different time and it calls for different leadership.”

The Republican National Committee is planning to block candidates from its primary debates if they do not sign a pledge to support the GOP’s ultimate presidential nominee, setting up a potential clash with candidates including Trump, who has raised the possibility of leaving the Republican Party and launching an independent candidacy if he does not win the GOP nomination outright.

Vivek Ramaswamy, a tech entrepreneur and author of the book “Woke, Inc.” who is also running for president, addressed the convention Friday and told the AP later in an interview that he saw himself as a successor to Trump.

“I’m building on the foundation he laid,” Ramaswamy said, adding that he’d focus more on ending affirmative action and climate change mitigation than the former president. He also said he would support the eventual GOP nominee “if everybody else makes that commitment.”

While the Trump faithful gathered in Maryland, the influential anti-tax group Club For Growth, which has clashed with Trump, held a competing event in Florida where DeSantis and others were invited but Trump was not — a sharp illustration of some in the party’s conservative flank seeking a new direction.

David McIntosh, Club For Growth’s president, said in an interview Friday that DeSantis, who kicked off the group’s donor summit with a Thursday night speech, did not say whether he was going to run for president and instead focused his remarks on policy issues.

“He talked a lot about his win in the last election but did not indicate anything one way or another about a presidential run,” McIntosh said.

He said DeSantis was enthusiastically received by a crowd of about 150 people and spoke about his record in Florida and his vision of governing in the state.

McIntosh said Pence, also at the event, did not indicate when he might make a decision on whether to seek the presidency. Haley, Scott and Ramaswamy were also slated to speak in Florida.
Newsletter

Related Articles

PanamaTimes
0:00
0:00
Close
Apple warns against drying iPhones with rice
In a recent High Court hearing, the U.S. argued that Julian Assange endangered lives by releasing classified information.
Global Law Enforcement Dismantles Lockbit Ransomware Operation
Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has died at the Arctic prison colony
The President of Argentina Javier Mile does not fly private, he flies commercial, with the citizens he represents. And they LOVE him for it.
Bitcoin Reaches $50,000 for First Time in Over Two Years
Belo Horizonte: Brazil's Rising Carnival Hotspot for 2024
In El Salvador, the 'Trump of Latin America' stuns the world with a speech slamming woke policing after winning a landslide election
Tucker’s interview with Putin is over 50M views on X within the first 5 hours.
Finnish Airline, Finnair, is voluntarily weighing passengers to better estimate flight cargo weight
President Nayib Bukele has proudly announced El Salvador's remarkable achievement of becoming the safest nation in the Western Hemisphere.
Former Chilean President Sebastian Piñera Dies in Helicopter Crash
This farmer seems to understand science a bit more than the event organizer, Klaus Schwab.
Facebook turns 20: From Mark Zuckerberg's dormitory to a $1trn company
The Coolest Dictator in the World" on the Path to Victory in El Salvador
Macron, France and fake news
Indian-Origin Man 'King' Arrested For Smuggling $16 Million Drugs Into US
Can someone teach Americans that not every person with slanted eyes is Chinese?
Europe's Farmers Feeding the People, Protesting Against Politicians Who Do Nothing for Their Country and Serve Only Themselves at Taxpayers' Expense
Paris Restaurant That Inspired 'Ratatouille' Loses $1.6 Million Worth Of Wine
Brazilian Police Investigate Bolsonaro's Son for Alleged Illegal Spying
Police in Brazil Raid Residence of Bolsonaro Associate Over Allegations of Illegal Spying
Border Dispute Escalates as Texas Governor Vows Increased Razor Wire
OpenAI Enhances ChatGPT-4 Model, Potentially Addressing AI "Laziness" Issue
The NSA finally acknowledges spying on Americans by acquiring sensitive data
Report Reveals Toxic Telegram Group Generating X-Rated AI-Generated Fake Images of Taylor Swift
US Border Patrol States 'No Plans' to Remove Razor Wire Installed in Texas
Bitcoin Experiences Approximately 20% Decline in Value
Klaus Schwab recently appointed himself as the Earth's "trustee of the future."
DeSantis Drops Out, Endorses Trump.
Nikki Haley said former President Trump is "just not at the same level" of mental fitness as he was while president in 2016.
Residents of a southern Mexican town set the government palace on fire in response to the police killing of a young man
Samsung Launches AI-Driven Galaxy S24, Ushering in New Smartphone Era
Judge Questions SEC's Regulatory Overreach in Coinbase Lawsuit
The Ecuador prosecutor who was investigating the television studio attack, has been assassinated.
Is artificial intelligence the solution to cyber security threats?
Vivek Ramaswamy suspends his US election campaign and endorses Trump.
Viral Satire: A Staged Satirical Clip Mistaken as Real Footage from the 2024 World Economic Forum in Davos
The AI Revolution in the Workforce: CEOs at Davos Predict Major Job Cuts in 2024
Ecuador Reports 178 Hostages in Prison Gang Standoff
The Startling Cuban Espionage Case That Has Rattled the US Government
Two Armed Men in Ecuador, Dressed as Batman and The Joker Storm the Streets.
Armed Gang Raids Ecuadorian TV Station Following State of Emergency Declaration
Anti-Democratic Canada: Journalist Arrested for Questioning Canadian Finance Minister on Support of Terrorist Group
Ecuador's 'Most-Wanted' Criminal Vanishes from Prison
Mexican Cartel Supplied Wi-Fi to Locals Under Threat of Fatal Consequences for Non-Compliance
Border Surge Leads to Over 11,000 Migrants Waiting in Northern Mexico
Outsider Candidates Triumph in Latin American Elections
As Argentina Goes to the Polls, Will the Proposal to Replace the Peso with the Dollar Secure Votes?
Fatal Shark Attack Claims Life of Boston Woman Paddleboarding Near Bahamas Resort, According to Police
×