Fresh off a strong showing in last week’s elections, some of the nation’s leading Republicans expressed newfound confidence this weekend that they were well positioned to retake control of Congress next year and ultimately win back the White House.
Speaking at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual leadership meeting in Las Vegas, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a potential presidential contender in 2024, boasted that Democrats were “freaking out” after losing the Virginia governor’s race and nearly falling short in New Jersey. Ronna McDaniel, the chair of the Republican National Committee, called Tuesday’s strong showing “a tsunami” and a “precursor of really great things to come in 2022.”
But beneath the bravado coursing through the grand Palazzo ballroom at the Venetian Resort, the GOP was still navigating around the shadow of Donald Trump, the former president who plans to play a major role in next year’s midterms and may again run for the White House in 2024. Virtually everyone who addressed the crowd praised Trump, who also spoke by video. But for the first time since losing the 2020 election, he seemed relegated to the background as others encouraged the party to think about its future.