Former Vice President Mike Pence has declined an invitation to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference, a major annual gathering of the most influential American Conservatives, due to open this week in Orlando, Florida.
News of Pence’s decision comes a day after former President Donald Trump joined the speaker list for his first major appearance since leaving office.
Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union and chief organizer of the CPAC, confirmed that Pence had declined an invitation to speak at the conference. Schlapp said he considered it a “mistake” for Pence to avoid the event because “his conservative record is well respected and the conservatives want to hear how he takes up the current threats to socialism and this radicalized democratic party.”
Pence has been a frequent and popular speaker at CPAC over the past few years. The former vice president will be the most famous Republican to have recently held a non-attendance position.
Pence reportedly distanced himself personally from Trump in the wake of the January 6 riots, when many of the former president’s supporters expected Pence to turn electoral college results on their head, a power the vice president lacks. That day, chants of “Hang Mike Pence” rang out through the halls of Congress as rioters searched the building.
Trump’s speech is said to focus on the future of the Republican Party and conservatism. It is also expected to target President Joe Biden’s immigration platform, which was recently outlined along with Congressional Democrats planning to legislate to implement the agenda.
– Matthew Brown
Rep. Steve Scalise: Don’t blame Trump for Capitol riots
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise declined to blame former President Donald Trump for the violence that erupted during the January 6th Capitol riot.
“Certainly there is a lot of guilt,” the Louisiana Republican said on ABC News’ “This Week” on Sunday.
Scalise is the second-highest-ranking member of the Republican House leadership and has been a passionate defender of Trump since the former president left. Scalise was among 121 members of the House of Representatives who objected to the final census of the electoral college on January 6.
“But at the end of the day, when the people who stormed the Capitol on January 6th, it was a shame. And they have to be held accountable,” said Scalise, ignoring the question of whether Trump was responsible for the attack wore.
A poll by USA TODAY / Suffolk University found that 58% of Republican voters believe that antifa or antifascist groups are responsible for most of the violence that took place during the January 6th Capitol riot, when there was none This claim gives evidence of this. Federal investigators and several reports have found that the rioters are predominantly for Trump, and many have links with far-right groups.
“Joe Biden is the president,” Scalise admitted as he pondered the legitimacy of the electoral process. He predicted that doubts about the system would persist among many voters in the years to come.
“And I think that is the greatest frustration that many people have. Are these states that have not obeyed the law, will they continue to do so in the future, or will we finally go back to what the constitution calls for?” calls. ” our leaders? “Asked Scalise.
Many states and municipalities across the country have changed their voting procedures due to the coronavirus pandemic negotiated before and after the 2020 elections. The regulatory changes, which expanded and restricted voting rights in different areas, were passed by both parties and survived the legal challenges.
– Matthew Brown
US communicates with Iran about the release of imprisoned Americans
National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan insisted that the Biden administration would make the safe return of Americans imprisoned in Iran a key point in the upcoming negotiations.
“We intend to communicate very directly with the Iranians about the utter and utter outrage, the humanitarian disaster that represents the unjust, illegal detention of American citizens in Iran,” Sullivan told CBS News “Face the Nation” on Sunday.
Sullivan stressed, “We will not accept a long-term proposal that continues to detain Americans unjustly and illegally. It will be a major priority for this administration to get these Americans home safely.”
Iran has consistently said that talks will not resume until the US lift the sanctions. A move that the Biden government is saying can only happen if Iran continues to meet its obligations under the nuclear deal.
“The US will not be able to rejoin the nuclear pact before the sanctions are lifted,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Sunday. “There will be talks as soon as everyone has implemented their commitments.”
Sullivan told CBS News that President Joe Biden was “determined to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon” and that Iran had “not yet responded to its messages” urging them to rejoin the nuclear deal.
The impasse has made other negotiations between nations difficult, including regional security and the repatriation of Americans detained in Tehran.
At least five American citizens are currently being arrested by the Iranian government.
– Matthew Brown
More:Iran says it will start restricting international surveillance of its nuclear facilities
Arkansas GOP governor Hutchinson says he would not support Trump in 2024
When asked on Sunday whether he would support former President Donald Trump in another presidential bid in 2024, Arkansas Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson simply replied, “No, I wouldn’t.”
Hutchinson, a popular Red State governor, argued that the GOP should listen to other voices in the party and not let the former president define itself individually.
“Well, he’ll only define our party if we let him define our party,” Hutchinson said, noting that Conservatives can still greet Trump at events like the Conservative Political Action Conference, the high profile Conservative gathering where Trump does his supposed to be the first major speech after the presidency.
However, the governor warned that the party should also “listen to those who hold divergent views,” such as Louisiana Republican Senator Bill Cassidy, who, according to Hutchinson, was “still arch-conservative but a different voice for the future of our party.” . “
Trump is still extremely popular with conservative-minded voters. A USA TODAY / Suffolk University poll published on Sunday found that nearly half of its voters would leave the GOP if Trump formed a new party.
“We need to respond and identify with the issues that brought him the first elections and supported him throughout his presidency,” said Hutchinson, adding that it was important to take on some of Trump’s messages.
“We just have to deal with different personalities differently,” he argued.
– Matthew Brown
Texas GOP Rep. McCaul: “I Will Not Go On Vacation During A Crisis”
Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has been widely criticized after revelations that he traveled with his family to Cancun, Mexico, as his home state suffered from deadly winter storms and power outages. The attacks became popular online, in traditional media, and by some in Cruz’s own party.
“You see, when a crisis hits my state, I’ll be there. I won’t be going on vacation. I know Mr. Cruz called it a mistake, and he made up to do it. But I think it was a big mistake . ” Mistake, “Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, told CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday.
“Saturday Night Live” also mocked the Texas Senator in its opening sketch when a character named “Bryant Cruz” tried to flee to Mexico. “I deeply regret my actions over the past few days,” says the Cruz character. “Mostly United fly.”
In the days since then, the real Cruz has also been mocked over photos he posted on social media showing him with water bottles and other supplies. Several photos Cruz posted on Twitter with the title “#TexasStrong” received allegations of performative activism and false compassion.
– Matthew Brown
President Biden visits Bob Dole after being diagnosed with lung cancer
President Joe Biden visited former Senator Bob Dole at his home in Washington, DC on Saturday night. The White House told reporters that he was visiting “his close friend.” Dole and Biden were together in the Senate for decades.
Dole, 97, served in Congress from 1969 to 1996. During that career, the Kansas Republican served as both Senate majority and minority leader in 1996 and a 1996 Republican presidential candidate. On Monday, he announced that he had been diagnosed with lung cancer.
“While I certainly have some hurdles ahead of me, I also know I join millions of Americans who are facing significant health challenges themselves,” Dole said in a statement.
The White House did not announce the meeting until Biden made the visit, which lasted just over an hour. When asked by reporters how the former senator is doing, Biden replied that Dole is fine. Dole will begin treatment for his cancer in the coming week.
– Matthew Brown