The seismic waves produced by Donald Trump’s savaging of the GOP establishment in 2016 are still being felt throughout the South Carolina “Republican” party. Trump discarded establishment GOP frontrunners like “low-energy” Jeb Bush and “little” Marco Rubio like a child would toss aside a broken toy – but he has managed to maintain strong ties with the status quo centrists in the state party.
His loyalty to early endorser Henry McMaster and to SCGOP chairman Drew McKissick – who controversially called off the 2020 first in the south presidential primary on Trump’s behalf – have kept the former president close to these “First in the South” middle-of-the-roaders.
FITSNews closely covered the internecine warfare surrounding the 2021 SCGOP chairman race which pitted McKissick against “a surprisingly robust challenge” from famed First Amendment attorney Lin Wood.
Wood attacked McKissick’s willingness to accept the disputed 2020 presidential results, telling his more than 800,000 telegram followers that “unlike McKissick, President Trump has never conceded the election. Neither have I.”
Despite Wood’s loyalty to Trump – and backing of his “rigged” election claims (which he reiterated this week) – the former president endorsed McKissick not once, not twice, but thee times, much to the chagrin of many members of his base.
The FITSNews crew traveled to Florence last weekend to cover former president Trump’s rally in support of congressional candidates Katie Arrington and Russell Fry – both of whom are challenging incumbents deemed insufficiently loyal to Trump in the aftermath of the events of January 6, 2021.
As a crowd of several thousand gathered in anticipation of Trump’s speech, McKissick and McMaster delivered their remarks – targeting the Biden administration’s foreign policy woes and runaway inflation. While many members of the crowd cheered and expressed their distaste for “Brandon,” there was also a contingent equally upset at McKissick and McMaster.
I filmed a conversation that our founding editor Will Folks had with one especially vocal attendee. Party activist and internet radio host Chad Caton expressed his disgust with McKissick after the latter referred to a group of recalcitrant MAGA backers as “lepers.”
Caton was also dissatisfied with Trumps choice of Fry to oppose incumbent Tom Rice – calling Fry “Tom Rice’s illegitimate political son.”
“Russell Fry is not getting an overwhelming amount of support in Horry County and we’re going to work really hard to make sure it stays that way,” Caton told Folks.
Caton pointed to Fry’s failure to pass constitutional carry into law as the majority whip as evidence of his “RINO” status.
In addition to this video interview, stay tuned to FITSNews for additional coverage of Trump’s “MAGA-palooza” in Florence – as well as continued coverage of the Palmetto State’s ongoing GOP schism.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
(Via: Coleman Rojhan)
Dylan Nolan is the director of special projects at FITSNews. He graduated from the Darla Moore school of business in 2021 with an accounting degree. Dylan primarily covers education when he isn’t producing video content. Got a tip or story idea for Dylan? Email him here. You can also engage him socially @DNolan2000.
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