More than a hundred former Republican officials who are unhappy with the way the party has dealt with former President Trump are in talks to form a new breakaway political party, Reuters reported, a move that was mocked by the former president’s spokesperson and highlights the growing rift in the GOP between Trump loyalists and those eager to move on from the former president.
More than 120 Republicans met over Zoom last week to discuss the breakaway party, including former elected Republicans and government officials who worked under both Bush administrations, Reagan’s administration and even Trump’s administration, Reuters reported
Many are reportedly unhappy with the party’s failure to stand up to Trump’s alleged attempts to undermine democracy and the party will run on a platform of ideals and “principled conservatism” that they believe Trump abandoned.
Evan McMullin, former chief policy director for the House Republican Conference, told Reuters that he co-hosted the call because “large portions of the Republican Party are radicalizing and threatening American democracy,” with many of the call’s participants reportedly dismayed at how many Republicans voted to block the certification of Biden’s electoral victory.
“The party needs to recommit to truth, reason and founding ideals or there clearly needs to be something new,” McMullin said.
The party’s plan would be to field its own candidates in some races as well as supporting center-right candidates in others, whether they be independents, Democrats or Republicans.
Around 40% on the call supported forming a new party—which could possibly be called the Integrity Party or the Center Right Party—McMullin said, with another option being to form a “faction” within the Republican Party.
In response to a question about the call, a Trump spokesman told Reuters that the Republicans on the call were anything but. “These losers left the Republican Party when they voted for Joe Biden,” he said.
64%. Nearly two-thirds of GOP voters said in a Hill-HarrisX poll last months that they would join a new Trump-led political party.
Talks of a third, anti-Trump party highlight a growing rift among Republicans. Donald Trump has always been a divisive figure but he has been able to command an almost unwavering loyalty. Last year, droves of Republicans spoke out against the former president, vowing to vote for his opponent Joe Biden and condemning his heavy handed response to racial justice protests. Just weeks ago, there were reports that Trump himself was considering setting up a third “Patriot Party” after watching several Republicans turn on him in the wake of the January 6 riot, including outgoing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who said he “provoked” the mob. Trump later distanced himself from the reports. With the GOP set to acquit him from his second impeachment, Trump’s allies believe his hold on the party appears on a more secure footing. They say he may seek to consolidate this power, after he previously vowed to unseat disloyal Republicans.
“The GOP is lost in a sea of lies and has clearly become a destructive force,” McMullin said. “Whether it’s a faction operating independently of the GOP or a new party, something new is needed. The status quo is unsustainable.”