ORLANDO, Fla. — A pair of influential House Republicans used a conservative political gathering on Saturday to lavish reward on former President Donald J. Trump and, in methods delicate and direct, marginalize their G.O.P. colleagues who’ve distanced themselves from Mr. Trump within the aftermath of the Capitol riot final month.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who faulted the previous president for his position within the assault and at one level thought of asking him to resign, credited Mr. Trump on the annual Conservative Political Action Conference with serving to Republicans with their shock positive aspects within the House final yr.
“You know why we won that?” Mr. McCarthy requested of the 14 seats the G.O.P. claimed in 2020. “President Trump worked on all these races.” He additionally recalled how Mr. Trump, even when in quarantine after his coronavirus prognosis, would do “rallies over the phone for each district.”
The prime House Republican sat onstage alongside Representative Jim Banks of Indiana, an rising conservative chief who answered a query aimed toward minimizing the social gathering’s inner fractures by drawing consideration to them.
Mr. Banks highlighted Mr. McCarthy’s recognition earlier than pointedly noting that “the least popular” congressional Republicans “are the ones who want to erase Donald Trump and Donald Trump supporters from our party.”
If that occurs, he continued, “we won’t win back the majority in 2022 — we definitely won’t win back the White House in 2024.”
Neither lawmaker talked about Representative Liz Cheney, the third-ranking House Republican. But their unprompted rhetorical embrace of the previous president illustrated how little urge for food there’s amongst Ms. Cheney’s colleagues for chopping ties with Mr. Trump, as she has urged.
In truth, Mr. McCarthy’s joint look with Mr. Banks was one thing of a brushback pitch at Ms. Cheney, who earlier within the week restated her hope that Republicans would transfer on from Mr. Trump simply moments after Mr. McCarthy had stated the previous president ought to attend this convention.
The Indiana Republican, who heads the conservative Republican Study Group, has sought to take a extra distinguished position within the caucus following Ms. Cheney’s break with Mr. Trump. On Saturday, Mr. McCarthy hailed Mr. Banks as “an amazing individual” shortly earlier than he assailed the anti-Trump Republicans of their ranks.
In the weeks since he criticized Mr. Trump over the lethal Jan. 6 assault, Mr. McCarthy has scrambled to patch up his relationship with the previous president, visiting him at his residence in Florida and welcoming him to play a continued position within the social gathering.
Yet he has not proved capable of dissuade Mr. Trump from mounting a revenge marketing campaign towards these Republicans who voted to question him final month — a truth made vividly clear Friday when the previous president endorsed a challenger towards Representative Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio, one of many 10 House Republicans who voted to question Mr. Trump over the Capitol assault.
Mr. Trump has additionally been irritated at Mr. McCarthy, as first reported by Politico, for serving to Ms. Cheney beat again an effort by the previous president’s loyalists to depose her from her place within the House management.
For all the continuing intraparty drama, nonetheless, Mr. McCarty projected confidence that Republicans would reclaim the House majority subsequent yr, stating, “I would bet my house” on such an end result.
After a lot of the primary day of the convention was dedicated to slamming massive tech corporations and “cancel culture,” the House G.O.P. chief and a bevy of his colleagues used the Saturday session to sketch out their opposition to the $1.9 trillion Covid aid invoice House Democrats handed on a party-line vote in a single day.
They sought to hyperlink the rising conservative anger towards social media giants with the help measure.
“She put a tunnel in Silicon Valley that has nothing to do with Covid into the bill,” Mr. McCarthy stated of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, alluding to funds within the proposal to increase a subway in San Jose, Calif.
One day after speeches by a collection of senators regarded as eyeing 2024 presidential runs, and the day earlier than Mr. Trump’s tackle, two extra potential candidates had been warmly acquired by the conservative crowd: former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota.
Mr. Pompeo assailed President Biden and recalled what he stated had been the overseas coverage successes of the Trump administration.
“So how many of you remember Qasem Soleimani?” Mr. Pompeo stated of the Iranian chief killed by American forces on Mr. Trump’s orders. “Allah rest his soul.”
Drawing extra consideration, and applause, was Ms. Noem. Before she spoke, dozens of CPAC attendees, a lot of them younger Republicans, waited in line to get her autograph.
Ms. Noem has developed a nationwide conservative following for her frequent appearances on Fox News and her refusal to take steps to curb the unfold of the coronavirus in South Dakota, even because the state has skilled a few of the highest charges of loss of life within the nation from the virus.
However, practically a yr into the outbreak, and after months of enterprise and college shutdowns, many conservative activists are wanting to return to pre-Covid life.
The governor drew a few of the loudest applause of any speaker on the convention when she belittled Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s prime infectious-disease knowledgeable and a determine many on the precise take into account overly alarmist.
“I don’t know if you agree with me, but Dr. Fauci is wrong a lot,” stated Ms. Noem, bringing a whole lot of attendees to their toes.