On Friday, the Conservative Political Action Committee will host its annual national conference, which features former Democratic congresswoman and 2020 presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard.
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She has pilloried the Democratic Party since leaving Congress, and frequently argued hot-button issues from an anti-leftist, if not a conservative, perspective.
Matt Schlapp, chairman of CPAC, shared the news on Twitter.
— Matt Schlapp (@mschlapp) February 21, 2022
Since stepping down from Congress just over a year ago, Gabbard has criticized the Biden administration for being divisive and for being dominated by members of “elite” Democratic and Republican parties.
On Sunday, Gabbard criticized Biden for possibly getting the United States involved militarily in Ukraine.
“What are we trying to achieve in Ukraine? How will it benefit the American people? And at what cost?” Gabbard posted to Twitter. “The Biden Admin has never answered these questions. Inflation and cost of living will drastically increase, Russia will retaliate, and no one knows where it will all end.”
What are we trying to achieve in Ukraine? How will it benefit the American people? And at what cost? The Biden Admin has never answered these questions. Inflation and cost of living will drastically increase, Russia will retaliate, and no one knows where it will all end. pic.twitter.com/8V4W10bMYF
— Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@TulsiGabbard) February 20, 2022
Gabbard warned earlier in February that the ‘neocons’ and ‘warmongers’ are aiming for a new ‘cold war’ over Ukraine.
“The neocons/warmongers have spent years stoking the new cold war with Russia and have now brought us to the brink in Ukraine—this serves their own interests, and lines the pocket of the Military-Industrial Complex with trillion$,” Gabbard declared in a tweet.
“Let’s not be sheep,” she continued.
The neocons/warmongers have spent years stoking the new cold war with Russia and have now brought us to the brink in Ukraine—this serves their own interests, and lines the pocket of the Military Industrial Complex with trillion$. Let’s not be sheep. pic.twitter.com/jgZEKgtyLT
— Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@TulsiGabbard) February 12, 2022
Kyle Rittenhouse was also defended by Gabbard. She says the allegations against him were politically motivated and “should be considered criminal.”
Also criticizing Biden’s plan to appoint a black woman as the next Supreme Court justice, she described it as divisive identity politics.
“Biden chose Harris as his VP because of the color of her skin and sex—not qualification. She’s been a disaster,” Gabbard stated. “Now he promises to choose Supreme Court nominee on the same criteria.”
“Identity politics is destroying our country,” she concluded.
Biden chose Harris as his VP because of the color of her skin and sex—not qualification. She's been a disaster. Now he promises to choose Supreme Court nominee on the same criteria. Identity politics is destroying our country.
— Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@TulsiGabbard) January 31, 2022
Gabbard will be joined at CPAC by former President Donald Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, according to the CPAC website.
This week’s conference is incredibly important for DeSantis and Trump. CPAC’s annual straw poll will almost certainly do a more direct comparison between the two would-be presidential candidates in 2024, providing the most direct assessment yet of which Republican has the most support among the most active members of the party.
Trump and DeSantis’ growing tensions are likely to worsen with the straw poll on Sunday. The two are extremely popular among party members. DeSantis has been the only figure in the GOP who has dared to challenge Trump’s policies. It is a foregone conclusion that these two will poll highly. It remains to be seen how close they are and what impact that will have.
Brett Doster, a Republican strategist in Florida believes what most do, that Trump takes the poll hands down. “I’m going to make a bold prediction for you: Trump wins overwhelmingly. DeSantis comes in second. The question would be how overwhelmingly, and if there will be chatter or noise that comes into play during the convention,” Doster said.
There have been comparisons between DeSantis and Trump for some time. Several informal surveys and straw polls of Republican activists have found that the Florida governor is just behind or even surpassing Trump. Whenever Trump is not on the ballot, DeSantis tends to be the top Republican contender for the 2024 nomination. DeSantis’s refusal to declare he wouldn’t run for president if Trump ran for president in 2024 has led Trump to watch him. A majority of Republicans have made the pledge. In contrast, DeSantis hasn’t, and early indications suggest that DeSantis might be the only Republican with a serious chance of defeating Trump in the bid for the Republican nomination.
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This wasn’t always the case. There was once a time when DeSantis belonged to the most Trump-supportive circles in Congress.
He was a member of the pro-Trump House Freedom Caucus while representing the eastern Florida coast from 2013 to 2018. At the start of his governor’s campaign in 2018, DeSantis wasn’t a front-runner. A Trump endorsement, however, could propel a Republican candidate into the lead. So he frequented Fox News in order to gain Trump’s approval. One of the ads DeSantis ran showed him reading to his children information about Trump’s adventures and even had them chanting “build the wall.”. And it worked. DeSantis won Trump’s endorsement. In the general election, DeSantis narrowly edged out Democrat Andrew Gillum.
Trump has literally had an impact on where Desantis is today. According to a forthcoming book, Trump has noted that he “helped Ron DeSantis at a level that nobody’s ever seen before.” However, since DeSantis assumed the governorship of a big state that’s an obvious launching pad for the White House, he hasn’t done anything to curb speculation about 2024. This year’s CPAC will definitely be one to watch.