Political analyst Matthew Dowd said Friday on MSNBC “Deadline” that he was struggling “between laughing with tears at this and crying with tears” that former President Donald Trump and his supporters at the 2021 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) were now the mainstream of the Republican Party.
Referencing a joke by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) during his CPAC speech, Dowd said, “I think he would have been better off quoting George Wallace because he would have gotten more applause than William Wallace. I mean, I g, this is like showing up at the P.T. Barnum Circus where you think, I can’t take my eyes off of what I’m seeing, but I feel bad about what I’m seeing simultaneously, that is what I feel like when we observe what is going on here. ”
He continued, “This should have been held at Roswell, New Mexico or Area 51. Without a touch of irony, they have the conference title is ‘Uncanceled,’ when they thought to cancel scientists, cancel medical experts, cancel the election results, cancel Joe Biden, and cancel the Constitution. So with no irony at all, they call the conference Uncanceled. For me, I could laugh. I could tune in and see it and be appalled at it. Ted Cruz, he makes this joke down there while people here still don’t have drinking water in Texas, while people don’t have places to stay and can’t find groceries. He makes a joke about Cancun in the midst of all of that.”
He added, “So I could chuckle at some of the things and laugh out of some sense of, like, bizarreness, but the dangerousness of this is amazing to me. And keep in mind that this is why the fungus or the mushroom of Donald Trump grew out and became what he became. Donald Trump didn’t change CPAC. CPAC is what fostered and fertilized what then became Donald Trump and the success of Donald Trump. So CPAC has now been mainstreamed in the Republican Party. You have senators and governors going there and the former president going there. But I really struggle between laughing with tears at this and crying with tears about it as the dangerousness of it effects our democracy.”
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