NBC political analyst Cornell Belcher claimed Sunday that the “civil war” within the Republican Party is over and “mainstream conservatism” has lost because it’s “being killed by Donald Trump and his tribalism.”
While appearing as part of a panel on “Meet the Press,” Belcher and former Republican North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory discussed with host Chuck Todd the state of the Republican Party and the debate over Trump’s role in it.
“You’ve got to understand we are going through a grieving process right now, just like the Democrats had to go through over four years ago. We’re going through some anger, we’re going through some denial, we’re right now in the blame game, which is not unusual. Remember Hillary Clinton and Sanders and others going through the blame game. And we’re in that blame game right now,” McCrory began.
He then assured Todd that the party would “heal” around policies that the Democrats are pushing. McCrory cited immigration, reopening schools, and the transition from away from natural gas to green energy as issues that could unite Republicans in the next two elections. “Issues trump everything,” he added.
The Republican Party has been split on the question of Trump since he left office in January, with some members wanting the former president to play a large role in the party’s future, and some wanting the party to move forward without him. The media has likened the differences between the two sides to a “civil war” within the party.
Amid the Republican divide, President Joe Biden has issued a swath of executive orders aimed at undoing policies that Trump implemented, including, as McCrory referenced, moving away from natural gas and towards green energy at the detriment of thousands of jobs. (RELATED: ‘I’m Not Making New Law, I’m Eliminating Bad Policy’: President Joe Biden Tries To Justify His Large Number Of Executive Orders)
Todd went on to ask Belcher if he accepts that the Republican party is just going through a process and could be “united again” in six months.
“I wish the governor was right. I wish issues did determine everything. But there is an awful lot of evidence and data that issues don’t indeed determine everything. And I would push back on the idea that this is very much like what Democrats have gone through. I like Bill Clinton very much. I was absolutely in love with Barack Obama, a man who I worked for. But none of us would go off and start a third party,” Belcher responded.
Trump in January was reportedly considering starting a third party. This claim has since been denied by Trump senior advisor Jason Miller, who says that Trump’s focus is winning back “the House and Senate for Republicans in 2022.”
“I think our democracy is in great peril when you have that many Americans that just won’t accept the truth,” Belcher continued. “What you you are seeing around Donald Trump is very different, Civil War within the Republican Party. The Civil War is over. I mean, Donald Trump has won it. Mainstream conservatism is on its deathbed, and it’s not being killed by liberal Democrats, it’s being killed by Donald Trump and his tribalism.”