ORLANDO, Fla. – Donald Trump Jr., said on Friday that there are “plenty” of Senate Republicans who he might support primary challenges against, while slamming the idea of “blindly” supporting incumbents.
The comments, made during an exclusive interview with Fox News, come as the GOP is trying to find its direction now that former President Donald Trump is out of office. Trump Jr., and many others, are making their case for the future of the GOP at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), which began in earnest Friday in Orlando and will continue through Sunday.
“I think without question” the Republican Party is still the Trump party, Trump Jr., told Fox News shortly after his address. “I think you hear it from the voices. I think you see it in the speeches of others that are in government. I see in the backtracking that you see from some of those who went opposite of that the last few weeks. I think it’s pretty clear. And it should be. Putting America first shouldn’t be controversial.”
Donald Trump Jr. speaks Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, at a rally in support of President Donald Trump called the "Save America Rally." (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
During his speech, Trump Jr., slammed Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., who he has said should face a primary challenge in 2022. He told Fox News after his speech that there are “plenty” of incumbent Republican senators who he would consider supporting primary challenges against.
“I think there’s a couple that I would certainly get involved in,” Trump Jr. said. “I think [former President Donald Trump] would get involved in picking individual races and individual people that have been supportive of him, and not others. And that’s fine.”
He continued: “I don’t think we have to blindly support, you know, establishment candidates that don’t do anything. I think that’s a mistake and I think we’ve seen too much of that from the establishment where they blindly throw cash, time, money and energy to help failing candidates who have no charisma, no personality, no political chops, get over the line simply because they’ve been there a few years. That’s the kind of nonsense that has to go, and I think it will.”
He wouldn’t name any specific senator he thinks should face a primary challenge.
Trump Jr.’s statement comes as many are trying to downplay the idea that there is a civil war within the Republican Party.
WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 02: U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) (L) speaks as Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) (R) listens during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol April 2, 2019 in Washington, DC. Scott and Hawley in conversations with Fox News on Friday both panned the idea of a GOP civil war. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., told Fox News during an interview after his CPAC address Friday that “those who are — seem fairly invested in this whole concept of a Republican civil war — which I think is a D.C. thing. You can come here to see there isn’t a civil war. Our voters have no interest in going back. They want to go forward.”
National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) Chairman Sen. Rick Scott of Florida meanwhile, has aimed to declare that the GOP civil war is “now canceled.” He doubled down on those comments during an interview with Fox News Friday.
“The civil war is canceled,” he said. “We’re going to focus on the issues. If you look all across the country what people are talking about is they’re talking about where are we going? They’re not talking about where we’ve been.”
Scott added: “We’re not going back to dial-up internet. We’re not going back to flip phones and typewriters. We’re going back to, where can we go in the future? What can we do to make sure we get a majority.”
CPAC will continue Saturday morning with another full day of speeches and panels. Former President Donald Trump will deliver the keynote address at CPAC on Sunday.
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