This year’s Conservative Political Action Conference will be one for the books, as it will likely be a who’s who of Republicans set to make serious moves heading into the 2022 midterm elections and beyond. It will also mark the first public speaking appearance from former President Donald Trump, who will obviously be the headliner of the entire conference.
While 2021 CPAC will showcase a long list of worthy speakers, like Sen. Ted Cruz and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, another angle of the story will be focused on who is not in attendance, either because they refused to show up or, embarrassingly, because they weren’t invited in the first place.
The first person on that list is former Vice President Mike Pence, who was very warmly invited by CPAC’s executive leadership, but ultimately declined the invitation. The move was called a “mistake” by CPAC leadership while reassuring Pence that he would very much be welcomed.
According to Newsmax, there are several more Republicans not attending.
Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley — thought to be one of the leading contenders for the 2024 Republican presidential primary — was invited this year but refused the invitation, citing previous scheduling conflicts.
But we all heard what happened recently between Haley and Trump — the former president outright rejected her request for a face-to-face meeting last week, which many believe was payback for her harsh words about the president following the Jan. 6 Capitol riots.
Sen. Rand Paul, who is most certainly in Trump’s good graces and generally loved by Trump supporters, was invited but will skip this year. It’s not an unusual move nor is there any reason to believe it’s a personal decision as the Kentucky senator regularly passes on attending the conference.
As far as those who weren’t invited to CPAC 2021, again, it’s easy to see why. The first person on that list is Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who excoriated the former president on the Senate floor after the impeachment trial and then in an op-ed published after that. McConnell has taken heavy fire from many of his colleagues in Congress and from millions of Trump supporters who have vowed to cast him away as nothing more than a typical, establishment RINO.
Another one that shouldn’t come as a surprise is Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, who was the only Republican to vote in favor of convicting Trump during both impeachment trials. It’ll be truly amazing if Romney is able to secure a reelection victory, given how many millions of Americans can’t stand the guy now.
Rep. Liz Cheney, who drew her battle lines against Trump and virtually all of his supporters following the Capitol riots, will also not be attending this year, again, for obvious reasons. She’s probably one of the most despised Republicans in Congress by Trump’s supporters, which is really saying something.
Aside from the names above, a number of high-profile Republican governors are not expected to attend and they all have one thing in common — they’ve all publicly criticized the president.
It’s clear to see that the Republican party is still Trump’s party and some of these politicians are going to be in for a rude awakening when it’s time to court their constituents during reelection season.
ARTICLE SOURCE: thefederalistpapers.org