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CPAC Dallas kicks off as conservatives sense historic gains with Hispanics, other new GOP voters

"We're gonna see an election that's going to change politics for a generation," American Conservative Union Chairman Matt Schlapp predicted Wednesday.

Published: August 3, 2022 6:17pm

Updated: August 3, 2022 11:11pm

The largest conservative summer gathering kicks off Thursday in Dallas as the GOP puts the finishing touches on its candidate slate for the pivotal fall elections amid signs of a red wave gathering steam among unexpected voting constituencies.

"We're gonna see an election that's going to change politics for a generation," American Conservative Union Chairman Matt Schlapp predicted to Just the News on Wednesday.

He noted that CPAC 2022 Dallas launches on the heels of a frenzied primary season that produced a diverse and fresh slate of female, Hispanic and military veteran Republican candidates that many predict will bring an unprecedented wave of new minority voters into the GOP.

"Hispanics started to break our way," Schlapp explained. "When they realized that Donald Trump was telling them like it is — he was a plain talker. And and I also think the Democrats having a war on religion does not work with the Hispanic community, which is very religious. These people fled socialism. They fled to this country because they know socialism doesn't work. And so they're just so discordant [with the Democrat agenda]."

Many Hispanic voters are not fans of illegal immigration, and the border crisis may swing them to the Republican side, added Schlapp.

"What's funny is that these Hispanics who came here legally — wow, they hate illegal immigration," Sclapp said on the "Just the News, Not Noise" TV show. "I think they might hate it more than any other community. When you waited in line and paid your dues and follow the law, you hate it when everyone else is cutting in line."

Another dynamic beneficial to conservatives is the sight of Democrats running from President Joe Biden amid his plummeting popularity, Schlapp said, likening it to the climate in 1994, when a GOP wave took control of Congress.

"I remember when Bill Clinton was in the Oval Office, and his numbers were weak," Schlapp said. "And Democrats didn't want him to come into their district, but a few of them still had Bill Clinton in.

"I can't think of any major candidate who's had Kamala Harris or Joe Biden into their race. I mean, they have the lowest numbers we've seen since Jimmy Carter.

"Jimmy Carter was so incompetent as the President, that he destroyed the brand name of the Democratic Party for a generation. I remember being a kid, and Ronald Reagan was the savior and my peers weren't even that political back then. And I think the same thing is gonna happen with this midterm. I think Joe Biden and the Democratic Party are going to be pushed aside as the American people want to solve these problems. They want commonsense solutions."

Schlapp said there is little doubt that Trump will be one of the stars of the show, even if he does not use the event to announce whether he is running for president again in 2024.

"My guess is he's not going to announce," Schlapp predicted. "He's going to wait until we have these big victories in November."

"There's a real affection between Donald Trump and the conservative activists across the country. And you both know why: because he was the rare politician who, first of all, wasn't a politician. He made all these promises. We didn't know if he was going to keep them all. And then one by one, he kept all the big ones."

While enthusiasm is high among GOP voters, one of the CPAC speakers, Rep. Ralph Norman of South Carolina, warns the most crucial period for conservatives will come when they must govern and deliver on promises.

"It's time for the Republicans to take control," Congressman Norman said on "Just the News, Not Noise" Wednesday. "And I think we will have the House, and I think we will have the Senate. We've got to put the priorities in place, have to close the border, and have to stop this criminal element from tearing this country apart. And we got to get the budget in line.

"Everybody can be a conservative now, but we got to really take off. We've got to do something with it. Power for the sake of power is no good unless you use it in the right way." 

Schlapp agreed, saying focus and persistence will be essential since Biden and the Democrats will still control the White House and can block much of what the GOP wants to achieve

"What I expect the Republican leaders and people like Jim Jordan to do is to figure out what is that one thing — the one or two things that they will fight to the death on that first budget vehicle after they get the majority," said Schlapp. "Is it building the Keystone pipeline? Is it fossil fuels? Is it closing down the border? What is that big issue?"

Schlapp also stressed the need for investigations of the Democrat Party if Republicans retake the majority in the midterms.  

"Second thing is investigations," he said. "We got to go after them with the subpoena power. We have to go after them as as voraciously as they come after us."

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