Gaetz Says CPAC Beholden to Big Donors: ‘Whole Lot of Corporate America’ Represented, They Like Having ‘Control’

‘They like having a little bit of control over the message and the messengers’

Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz (R) publicly called out the largest annual conservative conclave, CPAC, the day before it kicks off in Orlando, Florida, effectively accusing it of giving undue influence to corporate donors.

During an appearance on former White House strategist Steve Bannon’s War Room: Pandemic podcast with radio host pro-Trump John Fredericks, Gaetz took a direct shot at the many sponsorships that fund the high-profile right-wing conference.

Noting that some CPAC materials appeared to directly target the populist wing of the Republican Party, Gaetz wondered if a public battle between the MAGA and more establishment factions would play out during this year’s conference.

“Let’s be honest, there’s a whole lot of corporate America that gets represented at CPAC and they like having a little bit of control over the message and the messengers,” noted Gaetz, who is not in Florida for the event.

“Do you think we’ll see some eruptions that will show us who the populists are and who the establishment swamp creatures are?” he then asked of Fredericks, who is attending CPAC.

Fredericks argued that all the corporate sponsorships are merely funding a pro-Trump party that won’t be beholden to big contributors.

“There funding [American Conservative Union chair] Matt Schlapp’s organization, good for them, I want to take it and boomerang it on them and get our message out,” Fredericks said of the corporate donors.

The vocally pro-Trump Gaetz did attend CPAC a year ago, where he gave a speech in which he swore off all PAC donations to his political campaigns. “Honest capitalism is under attack,” Gaetz told the conservative audience in 2020. “Not just from Bernie Sanders, Antifa and the radical left — but by special interests and political action committees in the swamp of Washington D.C.”

According to data from OpenSecrets.org, however, three of the four biggest PAC donors during the 2020 election season were the Republican National Committee, the Trump Make America Great Again Committee and the Trump Victory Committee.

(h/t Mediaite)

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