As a heated intraparty debate rages among Republicans regarding the future leadership of the GOP, it is becoming clear that former President Donald Trump has no plans to recede quietly into the background.
In a statement distributed Thursday via his Save America PAC, Trump excoriated the editorial board of The Wall Street Journal for a Monday piece which attempted to cast doubt on his ability to move his party forward in the aftermath of the 2020 election, as the Daily Caller reported.
The op-ed with which Trump took issue was published in reaction to the former president’s speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) last weekend. In that address, Trump took the opportunity to recount the policy victories notched by his administration and to take President Joe Biden to task for what he called the “most disastrous first month of any president in modern history.”
In calling Trump’s continued relevance as a party leader into question, the WSJ editorial board observed:
The CPAC crowd cheered his speech, which was largely a collection of greatest political hits. But if CPAC represented America, Mr. Trump would still reside in the White House, not Mar-a- Lago.
He lost to Joe Biden, the old Democratic war horse, by seven million votes. He also lost five states he carried in 2016, even Georgia.
Twisting the knife even further, the piece noted that despite his administration’s notable policy achievements, Trump’s approval rating never surpassed 50%, and argued that the reason he lost his re-election bid was “personal,” rather than political.
Not one to let an attack of that nature go unchallenged, Trump launched a missive of his own, declaring at the outset:
The Wall Street Journal editorial page continues, knowingly, to fight for globalist policies such as bad trade deals, open borders, and endless wars that favor other countries and sell out our great American workers, and they fight for RINOS that have so badly hurt the Republican Party.
Trump’s statement went on to address some of the substantive criticisms contained in the WSJ piece, asserting that the Georgia Senate races were lost due to the incompetence and perhaps malfeasance of election officials in the state as well as the refusal of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to raise stimulus payments to the amount being promised by Democrats.
The Save America PAC was formed by Trump shortly after Election Day, starting out with an impressive $31.2 million war chest. As Republican consultant Rob Stutzman explained to Politico back in January:
The more money [Trump] stacks up in his committee, the greater his grip will remain on many elected Republicans who will fear those resources could be turned against them.
It remains to be seen whether Trump plans to assume something of a kingmaker role in the Republican Party or whether he has designs on returning to the Oval Office himself, telling his CPAC audience, “I may even decide to beat them for a third time.”