Chris RiottaSat, 6 February 2021, 7:45 pm
Former Rep. Charlie Dent (R—PA) revealed he and other Republicans have begun discussing whether to form a “new party or a new faction” in the wake of “ugly populism that we’ve witnessed the last four years under President Trump” in a new interview.
Speaking with CNN on Saturday, the former GOP lawmaker and longtime critic of former President Donald Trump shared how he had recently participated in a summit in which the idea of conservatives “united around core principles like democracy” forming their own party had been discussed.
“A new faction within the party or one that operates independently of the party,” he said. “That’s the conversation that many Republicans are having.”
Asked whether he was concerned about Republicans like him “surrendering the party to a fringe element” of extremists and conspiracy theorists, the former congressman said: “Well, I think that’s a real fear.”
Reports in recent weeks have indicated tens of thousands of former GOP members officially removed themselves from the party following the deadly riots at the US Capitol. Mr Trump was impeached by the House for a second time for fomenting the insurrection, which left at least five people dead, including United States Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick.
While the majority of Senate Republicans have already voted against conducting the impeachment trial scheduled to begin on Monday, many conservative figures and prominent GOP critics of the former president have called on the party to disassociate from Mr Trump and his allies.
Most recently, the Republican Party has been mired in controversy over freshman Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene (R—GA) and incendiary statements she’s made, some in support of QAnon, the debunked conspiracy theory described by the FBI as a domestic terror threat.
Referencing the recent vote the House took to strip Ms Greene of her committee assignments, Mr Dent said: “Let’s be perfectly honest: Democrats now have a recorded vote of 199 Republicans basically defending her right to serve on a committee.”
He added: “Republicans … should have never put themselves in a position where the Democrats did what Republicans should have done themselves, which was remove her from the committees and also, frankly, disinvite her from the Republican conference.”