With President Donald Trump, Gov. Ron DeSantis, and a number of Republican state legislators, Florida has become the center of the GOP universe, according to American Conservative Union Chairman Matt Schlapp on Newsmax TV.
“It is really interesting that the president’s in Florida, CPAC’s in Florida – one of the main reasons why so many people are going to Florida is because of this great leadership under Gov. Ron DeSantis,” Schlapp told Monday’s “John Bachman Now.”
“Our theme is ‘America Uncanceled’ and what a perfect way to demonstrate the grossness of our cancel culture than having Donald Trump speak live and in person at CPAC,” Schlapp added to host John Bachman.
Florida, under DeSantis, has become a national leader with its coronavirus response and the home of the former president at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, making it an ideal location for Orlando, Florida, to play host to CPAC, the annual conservative conference, later this week.
“It was never an option to not have it,” Schlapp said. “I just wasn’t going to be the chairman that didn’t have a CPAC. I just thought that was the exact wrong thing to project to society. We need to be open for business in as safe way as possible. We thought about Georgia, Tennessee, Texas — all these states that kept open.”
Georgia was a hub of alleged election fraud and saw two Republican incumbents lose their Senate seats in Jan. 5 runoff elections.
“Georgia disqualified itself to say the least,” Schlapp said. “And Florida is the right place. It’s got the right governor.”
Trump will make his first public speech since Jan. 6 and leaving office.
“Hearing his voice is very important,” Schlapp said. “No American should have their political voice silenced by anyone. And for a former president to have that happen to them on Twitter and Facebook is really, really beyond the pale.”
Trump is expected to lay out his own political future and to hail his policies as shaping the conservative movement, Schlapp said.
“I know that he’s giving a run for the presidency serious consideration, but even if he doesn’t run he has this huge voice,” he continued. “Republicans are gratified they had a Republican president that fought like hell for the things they care about and he’s going to keep fighting for those things.”
Former Vice President Mike Pence has declined an invitation, but Schlapp said he is still going to “try to talk him into coming,” because it can send a message to Americans you cannot cancel the Trump administration or the MAGA and conservative movements.
“They’re concerned in this country you can have a political disagreement and it can turn into you being called a domestic terrorist,” Schlapp said. “It can turn into you losing your social media account. It can turn into you being put on lists.
“We need to rise up against this intolerance and we need to show the American people that our policies and our philosophy allows them to live their lives and respects them. I think it’s an important moment.”
As for the famous straw poll at CPAC, outlining the leading voice of the movement, Schlapp expects Trump’s margin of victory to be “the biggest its ever been for anybody.”
“Most of us actually loved the way he operated as president, such an outsider, it was his own way,” Schlapp concluded. “That works in politics today. The old ways of being this cookie cutter candidate that just says careful things, I hope we’ve discarded that forever, because it’s boring and it resulted in a lot of Republicans not doing very much because they were too scared to act.”
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