Many Republicans are unsure how former President Donald Trump fits into the future of the party, but one leading Republican made clear the party needs the former president.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-N.C., voiced his support for Trump and his “America First” agenda in an interview this week as the party wrestles with his role going forward.
“I would just say to my Republican colleagues, can we move forward without President Trump? The answer is no,” Graham told Fox News in an interview.
That question has been particularly pressing for Republicans as Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., has challenged the party leadership of Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo.
The main dividing issue? Support for Trump and questioning the integrity of the 2020 presidential election. Rep. Cheney has been critical of Trump while Rep. Stefanik has rallied his supporters.
“I’ve always liked Liz Cheney, but she’s made a determination that the Republican Party can’t grow with President Trump,” Sen. Graham said. “I’ve determined we can’t grow without him.”
“Trump is seeking to unravel critical elements of our constitutional structure that make democracy work — confidence in the result of elections and the rule of law,” Rep. Cheney wrote. “No other American president has ever done this. The Republican Party is at a turning point, and Republicans must decide whether we are going to choose truth and fidelity to the Constitution. In the immediate wake of the violence of Jan. 6, almost all of us knew the gravity and the cause of what had just happened — we had witnessed it firsthand.”
Some Republicans are willing to move on from Trump but want to keep his “America First” agenda. Graham stressed the importance of that agenda in the interview.
“If you don’t get that, you’re making the biggest mistake in the history of the Republican Party,” he said.