Trump critics push new direction for GOP

Republican critics of former President Trump are forging ahead with their effort to weaken his grip on the party even as it becomes increasingly clear doing so may be a herculean task.

A group of more than 100 Republicans, including former national and state officials, are expected to release a letter this week warning that they are prepared to launch a third party unless the GOP steps back from its increasingly Trump-centric approach to politics.

Likewise, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), who was expelled from her House leadership position on Wednesday morning for her defiance of Trump, vowed to “do everything I can to ensure that the former president never again gets anywhere near the Oval Office.”

The flurry of activity signals a turning point for those in the party who have found themselves increasingly frustrated by the former president’s hold on the GOP. But their efforts are likely to face strong headwinds. Many Republican voters remain deeply loyal to Trump, and party leaders are largely betting on that support to propel them in the 2022 midterms.

“It’s time for the GOP to clean up its act, and if it doesn’t, we need to hasten the creation of an alternative,” said Miles Taylor, a former Homeland Security official under Trump who is among those organizing the effort to demand changes within the GOP.

“I don’t want to make any mistakes about this: Donald Trump can’t get to 50 percent,” Taylor continued. “He cost us the White House. He cost us the House of Representatives. He cost us the Senate. He cost us half a million American lives in COVID. He can’t win. He’s a washed-up, one-time, single-term president.”