British political celebrity Nigel Farage told conservative activists packed into a ballroom at the Conservative Political Action Conference to stop complaining about the 2020 presidential election and focus on helping Republicans recapture Congress in November.
“Does it make sense for the Republican Party to go on talking about the stolen election?” Farage asked Friday, evoking protests from the audience, who gathered in Central Florida hotel for the final speech of Day 2 of CPAC.
Former President Donald Trump surely would have joined the protests had he been present, as he has refused to stop making unsupported claims that President Joe Biden was fraudulently elected nearly two years ago.
“You may say yes … because you’re political activists, and you understand what happened,” Farage said as he paced back and forth onstage, not appearing to read from any prepared notes. “Remember, most voters are busy with their lives, busy with their mortgages, busy with their kid, worried about their jobs, worried about the price of gas.”
“You’ve got to offer the voters of this country the shining city on the hill,” Farage said. “You’ve got to give them the vision — people want dreams; people want hopes. And the deliverers of that message are you guys. You are the people’s army. You are the ones that can inspire. You are the ones that can mobilize. You are the ones that can motivate. The only question is: Are you ready for this great battle?”
Historically, the party in power in the White House tends to lose seats in the midterm elections.
And with Republicans five seats shy of the House majority and just one seat shy of Senate control, recapturing Congress this fall is a distinct possibility.
Indeed, with Biden’s job approval ratings mired in the low to mid-40s and the GOP leading in many generic ballot surveys, 2022 could be shaping up as a Republican wave year.
However, some inside the party — and others, like Farage, who are rooting for a Republican takeover on Capitol Hill — have lingering concerns that opportunities for big gains could be lost if Trump’s focus on 2020 dominates GOP campaign messaging.