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June 12, 2021
As the Republican party finds its footing in the weeks following the end of Donald Trump’s presidency, over 120 former Republican officials are in talks to form a center-right third party.
Last Friday, dozens of former Republicans – including officials from several Republican administrations – held a Zoom meeting to discuss the possibility of forming an Anti-Trump third party in order to give Republicans who wish to break away from Trumpism in the GOP a new political home. Evan McMullin, former CIA operations officer and 2016 GOP presidential candidate, co-hosted the call with a handful of other GOP officials. First reported by Reuters, the discussion centered around the idea of creating either a separate center-right political party to challenge the current GOP, or form a faction of Republicans inside the GOP to reform and fight Trumpism from within.
On Thursday afternoon, former Republican House Rep. Charlie Dent, who was on the call, told CNN’s Chris Cuomo that participants of the call expressed specific concern and dismay over their GOP colleagues’ votes against certifying the election even hours after the attack on the US Capitol on January 6, and the likelihood that Trump will be acquitted in the current impeachment trial. McMullin told Reuters many members of the GOP who have remained loyal to former President Trump “are radicalizing and threatening American democracy.” According to McMullin, those on Friday’s call believe “The party needs to recommit to truth, reason and founding ideals or there clearly needs to be something new.” At the end of the call, over 40 percent of the participants were in favor of forming a breakaway party or faction, and had discussed naming the new party The Integrity Party or the Center-Right Party.
Asked his thoughts on a new, anti-Trump political party being formed to combat the GOP, Trump spokesperson Jason Miller told Reuters “These losers left the Republican Party when they voted for Joe Biden.” While many GOP officials remain loyal to former President-Trump, McMullin told CNN on Thursday the call to form a new party is “primarily about creating something new to help change the direction of the party or challenge it directly.” The new faction or party’s plan would be to field their own center-right candidates against GOP candidates in key races around the country. McMullin also expressed optimism over growing support for the movement, adding, “the fact our numbers are growing is the most exciting thing about it.” Friday’s call was a starting point, according to McMullin, and discussions will be ongoing.
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: VOX