Former Rep. Carlos CurbeloCarlos Luis CurbeloThe Republican House legislator unexpectedly shakes up the Senate trial The memorandum: The historic vote leaves Trump more isolated than ever The memorandum: The Republican Party and the nation grapple with what comes next MORE (R-Fla.) He argued in a prerecorded interview that aired on Friday that the Republican Party has lost its way and is “wrapped in lies out of fear.”
Curbelo and the former senator Jeff flakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeGrassley Will Vote Against Tanden Klain’s Nomination On Manchin’s Objection To Neera Tanden: He ‘Doesn’t Answer Us At The White House’ Tanden’s Road To Confirmation Looks Increasingly Unsustainable MORE (R-Ariz.) He joined as part of the IntelligenceSquared US nonpartisan debate series to argue that many within the Republican Party are knowingly pushing a lie that the elections were stolen out of fear of retaliation from former President TrumpDonald TrumpDonald Trump Jr. Calls Withdrawn Bruce Springsteen Positions A ‘Liberal Privilege’ Schiff Sees Challenges For The Intelligence Committee, Trump McConnell Shadow Community Says It Would Back Trump As Republican Candidate In 2024 MORE.
In his opening remarks, Curbelo said that by embracing former President Trump’s electoral claims, which preceded the Jan. 6 attack on Capitol Hill, the Republican Party had lost its credibility and damaged democracy.
“We only have two here [political parties] And for one to hold the other accountable, it has to be viable. It has to have credibility. With a majority of voters in the country, it has to be a reasonable option for the majority of the people, ”Curbelo said. “And the problem we have today in our democracy is that the Republican Party is losing that position. Why? Because he has lost his way. Because it is a party wrapped in lies and fear ”.
Curbelo, a moderate conservative, lost his South Florida swing district in 2018 by just about 4,000 votes in what was a great year for Democrats.
He has emerged as a vocal critic of Trump and the leadership of the Republican Party.
In the Intelligence Squared debate, he argued that many members of Congress know that Trump’s electoral claims are false, but that they lack the courage to stand up to him, knowing that it could cost them their seats.
“Most Republicans in Congress will acknowledge this privately,” Curbelo said. “And again, that’s the problem, that people don’t tell the camera what they tell their friends. Why? Because Donald Trump turned the Republican Party into a personal club to promote his interests and even to question or challenge free and fair election results. And in doing so, he sparked a riot that resulted in the desecration of one of the largest structures in the history of democratic government and the death of five people. “
“If we are going to have an honest conversation about the Republican Party, we have to face this crisis, this cancer that prevents many Republicans, not all, from telling people the truth, being honest with voters and serving decently.” added.
Flake, who faced Trump before retiring in 2018, said Republicans would rack up electoral losses in the future if the party continues to uphold Trump as their leader.
Flake noted that Republicans lost the White House, the House of Representatives and the Senate under Trump, while they lost both Senate seats in the previously red-trending states of Arizona and Georgia.
Republicans unexpectedly won House seats in 2020, and Trump was the first Republican in decades to win Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin in 2016.
But the former Arizona senator said more than 140,000 people who were registered as Republicans changed their registration after the January 6 riot, including 10,000 in his home state.
“Despite all these wins, I don’t know where he is,” Flake said. “We have clearly lost our way as Republicans. We cannot move on unless we first acknowledge the truth. We have lost our way. We can make sure and we have to come back as a party. We have to give them that option. “
Trump will address the Conservative Political Action Conference on Sunday in his first major speech since leaving office. The former president is expected to speak about the future of conservatism and the Republican Party.
Trump maintains wide support among a large majority in the party, and would be the prohibitive favorite to win the GOP nomination in 2024 if he decides to run again.
Some in the party, including the Senate minority leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnell Minimum Wage Rollback Revives Progressive Calls to Reject Senate Obstructionism Schiff Sees Challenges for Intelligence Committee, Trump McConnell Shadow Community Says It Would Back Trump as a Republican Candidate in 2024 MORE (R-Ky.) And Rep. Liz cheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn Cheney Conservatives Pursue Cheney for Trump CPAC Comments The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by The AIDS Institute – Forward: One-shot Vax, Restriction Relief, Fiscal Aid Senate Republican Party Works to Avoid have a war of the 22nd with Trump MORE (R-Wyoming), have called on Republicans to release Trump.
They are frustrated by Trump’s election claims and say the focus on the fraud allegations may have cost Republicans their two Senate seats in Georgia and ultimately a majority in the upper house.
The Trump campaign lost dozens of court challenges attempting to nullify Democratic votes or nullify election results in key states before a pro-Trump mob ransacked the Capitol while the Electoral College vote count was underway.
A new poll by the R Street Institute found that two-thirds of all Republicans consider the 2020 election invalid.