“Never Trumpers” don’t admit that Trump took over the GOP, but they stay in battle


The presidential election is over and the formal transition to the administration of elected president Joe Biden has begun, even if President Donald Trump is still unwilling to let go.

Even though Trump has been defeated, it is clear that the president’s brand is sharing tweeting and contempt for nicknames.

Biden won with a referendum difference of more than 6 million votes, but Trump still won nearly 11 million votes compared to his 2016 victory. In addition to Biden, the president received more individual votes than any other presidential candidate in history. Meanwhile, Trump’s vocal conservative opponents – called “Never Trumpers” – are shocked, but not surprised that the president has taken over their party.

“You have to approach what it says – that 11 million [more] people have applied for four more years after Trump, ”said Michael Steele, a former chairman of the Republican National Commission who supported Biden before the election. Newsweek in an interview.

“I think yes, Donald Trump has successfully captured the Republican Party,” said Sarah Longwell, strategic director of Republican Voters who voted against Trump. Newsweek. A GOP activist says his party needs a “new generation of leadership” to move forward.


Supporters of President Donald Trump Hold and Hold a Trump 2024 at the Veterans Memorial Colosseum in Arizona on February 19 in Phoenix, Arizona
Caitlin O’Hara / Getty

Despite the frustration of anti-Trump conservatives, prominent Republicans are already proposing that Trump resume in four years, and the president’s base remains highly enthusiastic.

“In the foreseeable future, he will remain the country’s most influential Republican. There is no doubt about that.” said Senator Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican. Newsweek earlier this month, suggesting that Trump will be the party’s candidate again in 2024.

Longwell said the proposals for Trump to restart in 2024 are “a problem” for the Republican Party. “By freezing the field in this way, it guarantees that it will absorb all the oxygen from every other Republican who wants to fly,” he said.

Steele and Longwell – along with a table of other prominent Republicans that included current and former governors, politicians, academics, and national security experts from across the country – were firmly opposed to Trump even before his 2016 victory. Initiatives such as Republican voters against Trump, Republicans for the rule of law, and The Lincoln Project have raised tens of millions of dollars to create anti-Trump ads to persuade conservative voters to oppose the president in 2020.

Michael Steele
Former RNC president Michael Steele talks to reporters in the centrifuge following CNN’s Republican presidential debate in Las Vegas, Venice, on December 15, 2015, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ethan Miller / Getty

“We need a responsible center-right party in this country, but what we’re looking at isn’t,” Longwell said. He characterized the “vast majority” of congressional Republicans in a “deeply irresponsible” way.

When asked about a 2024 Trump race, Steele warned the country to re-elect Trump. “Woe to the country,” he said, stating that his position against Trump was not opposed to his political party. Instead, Steele expressed his disgust for the president and his policies.

“This is not an anti-Republican party,” he said, noting that he still supports many GOP leaders. “What I don’t support is Donald Trump. And I don’t support the bull brand – t – I can’t put it any other way – that he brought to the party. Because it’s not real. It’s false. yourself. “

During Trump’s tenure, Republicans largely avoid criticizing his leadership, even when he attacked old norms and ignored the constitution. When the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives dismissed the president in late 2019, no Republican MP crossed party lines to vote in favor of the indictment articles. Only Justin Amash, a Conservative who left the GOP before the vote and became independent because of his opposition to Trump, sided with the Democrats.

After Trump’s brief discussion in the GOP-controlled senate, only Utah Republican Sen. Mitt Romney, who was his party’s 2012 presidential candidate, voted with Democrats to remove the president. This made Romney the first senator in history to cast such a vote against the president of his own political party, but the Republican legislature has already clashed publicly with the president several times.

Before the 2020 election, Romney said he would not vote for Trump, just like several other prominent elected GOP officials. Romney then congratulated Biden among the first Republicans to be declared the winner on November 7th. In the weeks since then, he has hardly suppressed Trump’s baseless allegations of widespread voter fraud and that he did win the election.

“It’s hard to imagine a worse, more democratic action by a sitting U.S. president,” a GOP senator said in a statement posted on Twitter last Thursday. Romney became a counterpart to many Republicans and was named “RINO” (Republican only) on behalf of the other conservatives opposed to the president. A spokeswoman for Romney declined to be interviewed for the article.

Longwell said Newsweek that he was a little surprised at how long it would take other Washington Republicans to counter the president’s unfounded electoral fraud claims. But Steele said it was just part of their usual pattern under Trump’s leadership.

Sarah Longwell
Republican strategist Sarah Longwell speaks on stage at the Teen Vogue 2018 summit: #TurnUp – Day 2 at the New School on June 2, 2018 in New York City
Cindy Ord / Teen Vogue / Getty

“When did they ever oppose something the president did?” Steele asked. He says it is no longer news or surprising that Republican lawmakers are not pushing against Trump.

“It was shocking to watch these Republicans allow the president to force these conspiracy theories,” Longwell said, summoning lawmakers like Texas Senator Ted Cruz and South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham, who “completely undermine the confidence in our system “.

Hans Noel, Assistant Professor at Georgetown University, researching political coalitions and political parties Newsweek in an email that tensions between Republicans are “in many ways” “tensions within politicians, not between different politicians.”

“Many Republican politicians like a control and campaign the way they lived in 2008 and 2012 and now have to adapt. Trump joined a populist electorate and exposed the boundaries of traditional conservative calls to these voters,” Noel said.

“Some politicians don’t want to do this and are especially alienated from the more nativist, nationalist and racist elements in these appeals and want to push differently,” he said. Noel explained that in previous eras, it was more common to vote for a politician from another party. “But the parties were less clearly ideological at the time, so it’s not the same,” he said.

Donald Trump and Lindsey Graham
President Donald Trump is slapping Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) on the shoulder at a demonstration at the Bojangles Coliseum on March 2 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / AFP / Getty

Despite Republican voters ’continued enthusiasm for Trump, Steele and Longwell still identify with the party. Steele argued that Trump was not actually a Republican, saying the president was only in politics for himself.

“I’m a Republican as long as I’m a Republican, and Donald Trump will never represent anything I believe in or stand for as a Republican,” the former president of the GOP said. “Because he’s not a Republican. He’s not conservative.”

Longwell took a similar view. “I still believe in limited governmental and personal responsibility, as well as American leadership in the world,” she said. “I believe everything I thought four or five years ago,” she said.

“But the Republican Party is now Trump’s party, and I’m not a Trump Republican,” Longwell explained. According to the Republican strategist, “our future role will be about the country. It will not be about the Republicans or the Democrats. It will be about how to cross over and break this negative party.”