Speed Reads

gop breakout

High-profile Republicans reportedly Zoomed to discuss forming their own center-right party

High-profile Republicans who don't agree with the party's far-right creep may be headed for the doors.

Last week, 120 former GOP elected officials, ambassadors, and strategists, as well as members of past Republican presidential administrations reportedly met up in a massive Zoom call. They discussed early plans to form a "center-right breakaway party" to promote "principled conservatism," running candidates in some races and endorsing Democrats, Republicans, and Independents who match their values in others, people involved tell Reuters.

Evan McMullin, the former chief policy director for the House Republican Conference who ran for president as an independent in 2016, co-hosted the call, he told Reuters. "Large portions of the Republican Party are radicalizing and threatening American democracy," he said. "The party needs to recommit to truth, reason and founding ideals or there clearly needs to be something new." Jason Miller, a spokesperson for former President Donald Trump, meanwhile called the group "losers," while Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel indicated in a statement that the party needs to "come together" if it wants to win in 2022.

The conversation comes after the Republican party shed thousands of members in the wake of the Capitol riot. Since January, more than 140,000 people have quit the GOP in the 25 states with readily available registration data, The New York Times reports; 19 states don't register voters by party. Pennsylvania saw 12,000 voters change their affiliations, while Arizona's GOP lost 10,000. Trump narrowly lost those states in 2020, and the Arizona GOP has since taken aim at Republicans who didn't dispute the election results.