GOP shudders at Trump Jan. 6 speechThose "early assumptions" are undoubtedly correct. Axios reports:
Senate Republicans are cringing at former President Donald Trump's plans to speak on Jan. 6, openly fretting he's trying to pull their party back into debating his false election claims.
“I don't think that's a good idea,” said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.). “I guess it depends on what he's going to say. But early assumptions are that it's going to be an aggressive statement. I just don't think it's a good idea.”
A source familiar with Trump's plans said the former president would call Pelosi's investigation a "witch hunt" and embrace the protests of Jan. 6 as a legitimate reaction to a "stolen" election on Nov. 3, 2020....(I'm sure you know that the right blames Antifa for the January 6 violence, but if you want to fall down the blame-the-FBI rabbit hole, Google "Ray Epps FBI" and learn all about the man every wingnut now believes was the real instigator of the riot -- on behalf of the now-deemed-evil FBI.)
Asked whether Trump would claim the riot was not violent and blame it on antifa and the FBI, the source replied, "I'm sure that will be a component."
More from Politico:
Then there's Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), who wants to “stay focused on congressional activities." And Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), who voted to convict Trump over his role in the Jan. 6 attack, said the event isn’t a “terribly good idea,” but added, "What am I going to do about it?”Is this really how they feel? They certainly want Politico readers to believe that's how they feel -- that they're not against Trump, but they'd really prefer to put their heads down and focus on the people's business.
And those were the members who decided to even talk about it. While Trump plans to defend the rioters who attacked the U.S. Capitol nearly a year ago at a press conference Thursday, Senate Republicans largely prefer to ignore him, still seeing scant purpose in provoking a prickly Trump, even a year after he's left office. In interviews Tuesday, several declined to comment and instead said their attention is on moving forward....
“There's no benefit on commenting,” said Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.). “So I'm not going to comment.”
But they know that Trump drives base turnout, which is what they want for their party. They worry that he'll also turn out the Democratic base, but they know that if they pretend to distance themselves from him, Demorats are probably too inept at messaging to hang him around their necks.
So the plan is to pretend he's not the party's leader in any forum where swing voters might be paying attention, while benefiting from his ability to generate base turnout. I hope this fails -- I hope he's increasingly visible and the 2022 midterms are a referendum on him, with Democrats roused and ready to vote -- but I think Senate Republicans sense that if they ignore him, swing voters will ignore him, too, while GOP voters won't. That would work out quite nicely for them.
UPDATE: Well, somebody got Trump to change his plans.
Former President Trump is scrapping a planned news conference on the one-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
The former president had planned to use the Thursday news conference at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., as counterprogramming for a scheduled prayer service at the Capitol to commemorate the events of Jan. 6.
In a statement, Trump blamed the House select committee charged with investigating the Jan. 6 riot for the cancellation. He said he would instead touch on many of the themes he had planned to discuss at the news conference during a rally in Arizona set for Jan. 15.
UPDATE: A blogger at RedState assures us that Trump' wimp-out totally owned the libs:
While the snowy weather may have other plans, Democrats are still tentatively gearing up for a day of “commemoration” on January 6th. Part of that will be CNN hosting a live event from the Capitol — in what is sure to be a grotesque, gaudy spectacle — in which they trump up the world’s first “insurrection” that didn’t involve the use of deadly weapons or anyone actually attempting to take over the government....I'm not the big loser! You're the big losers, libs!
Yet, Democrats were also banking on another happening to bolster their January 6th spectacle. Donald Trump had a press conference scheduled at Mar-a-Lago on the same day, and there’s little doubt what the content of the discussion would have included. Yet, he’s now abruptly canceled it in a move that is going to leave no one upset except Democrats, who hoped to make political hay out of it.
... it’s a smart move on his part to deny them the viral clips and talking points they were banking on. I’m sure he and his advisers sat down and figured out what the game was here and chose not to play along.