GOP leaders clash over Trump and CPAC

"The View" co-hosts weigh in on former President Trump being the keynote speaker at CPAC while members of Congress including Reps. Kevin McCarthy and Liz Cheney are split on him being the headliner.
7:51 | 02/25/21

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Transcript for GOP leaders clash over Trump and CPAC
"The view." C-pac, the four-day conservative political action conference kicks off tonight, and Sunday's keynote speaker is you-know-who, and for some members of congress like Kevin Mccarthy and Liz Cheney, it's kind of clearly split on him being the headliner. Take a look. Do you believe president trump should be -- or former president trump should be speaking at CPAC this weekend? Yes, he should. Congresswoman Cheney? That's up to CPAC. What follows January 6th, I don't believe he should be playing a role in the party. On that high note -- And I guess former vp Mike pence said he's reportedly still good friends with him, you-know-who, in spite of the unleashed mob that wanted to hang him at the riots. Joy, there are so many other things Republicans need to be focused on right now. Why do you think they're still stuck on this man? Well, first of all, it's interesting and ironic that these Republicans are so offended by neera tanden's tweets, but they're not offended by the fact that trump gave the thumb's up to attack the vice president of United States. I mean, the hypocrisy is unbelievable, but I think that in this particular case, and Liz Cheney is one tough lady, boy. She is, like, a Margaret thatcher level of tough to go up against this pack, and she's giving them a way out. She's saying to them, we need to rebrand. We made a deal with the devil, and the devil won't go away, and if we would rebrand our party, we might have a chance in the future because what is it? 66% of Americans support the stimulus package. 56% support the $15 minimum wage. These people are out of step with Americans. They need to get their party together and start to act like a normal group of people instead of a bunch of trump worshippers, and she's saying, listen. Here is the ticket, and they're just too scared to take it. Right. Sunny, does that mccarthy/cheney exchange show an identity crisis in the party? I think there's no question about it. Kevin Mccarthy made it clear that the Republican party is a "Big tent party," and in saying that, he was saying that all are welcome. If you believe in qanon, if you are a Trumper, if you are Maga, if you are a white supremacist, if you love the confederate flag and you want to wave it around in the capitol, if you are an insurrectionist, you know, if you are a conservative, we welcome you. Everybody is on board, and Liz Cheney is offering them sort of, I think, the more traditional brand of conservativism, but because trump still has a stranglehold on the party, I don't think that her conservativism can withstand those other factions in the party, and I see there are three clear camps, right? That have emerged, now that trump has left office. You've got the anti-Trump folks. That would be Cheney, I think perhaps Mitt Romney, definitely Mitch Mcconnell, but then you've got people that are in the middle like Kevin Mccarthy who are saying, well, we can have it both ways. I don't think that's true, and then you've got the pro-trumpers. You've got the senators like Josh Hawley. You've got the Ted cruzes. You've got the Jim Jordans. How can you have a party where people are so diametrically opposed? I don't think it works. I really don't. Right. Sara, when you see something like this, do you think that there's a rift, or is this just what happens when people have different ideas? Well, I don't think Kevin Mccarthy is in the middle of that equation like sunny does. I think he has spoken, and she's for trump, but I do think that like joy said, that Liz Cheney was very bold there because at that moment, in that kind of press conference, someone could have thrown that question and she could have said, you know, no comment or, you know, walked away, and she doubled down, and even specified after the incidence of January 6th, this is what I think. So I think she does represent a kind of hope for me that there will be people that come out with old conservative ideals and break with trump, and trump remains a massive force in this party. I also know that we referenced that Mike pence seems to have an -- I think it was an ammicable relationship with trump, but one thing I see is actions speak louder than words. One person who won't be at CPAC this year is Mike pence. He's not going, and so I tend this think that's showing a little bit of a turn of the tide. You don't want to upset the base by going on record, but you don't show up at this massive event that you were at last year. Like we always say, it remains to be seen. I'm slightly hopeful with the Liz cheneys of the world, but it looks like right now it's a trump universe. Right. So Meghan, what do you think is happening here? Because, you know, we see Liz Cheney on one hand who, you know, is steeped in the party, you know, and we're sort of hearing her say, we are still here. We are still a party, you know, and we don't need him to do this, and on the same token, you have Kevin Mccarthy. What do you see as a conservative? It's funny you just said we are still here because I keep sending the meme of the matrix saying, we are still here, and that's how I keep saying to my friends who are conservatives and not trumpers. We are still here. We're a faction of the party, and we're strong and we represent a part of the party that are angry and confused and want a different direction than the trump insurrection segment of the party, but unfortunately that part of the party is still very alive and strong. I'm fascinated by CPAC. It's a really important, significant event for conservatives. It used to be kind of like a policy event where the future of the Republican party platform us with focused out, and, you know, interesting exchanges of ideas from thought leaders. It has turned more into a performative show pony event. President trump came out strong opening in 2014. Matt schlapp gave him this amazing platform to come out and really present himself as a politician which led him to the white house. Some other people that are speaking including Ron Desantis, Kristi Noem, Nikki Haley, people who want to run for president in 2024, and I think it's going to be more about who can gather this specific audience which are media people, Maga people, trump people, people who work in all factions of conservative media, and their opinion on what happens this weekend is going to matter, and right now we're struggling to see which fractions of the tribe are going to be represented, but CPAC has been where the most conservative bona fides come, and my father never spoke at CPAC, and he was never invited. It's never been a place for more moderate people. Right, right. It's for the Mike Huckabees, you know, the more conservative people who do really well in a conservative primary. Right. But I think that the metaphor that I used about godzilla coming up. Everybody get their popcorn and jack Daniels because president trump's speech is going to be something to watch. Yeah, but it may turn out to be one that we've seen over and over and over. Anywho, we'll be right back.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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