Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Banks (R-Ind.) and members of the conservative caucus’ leadership team huddled with former President Trump in Bedminster to discuss their policy agenda and path to the majority in 2023 on Thursday, the Indiana Republican told The Post in an interview.
Ten of the RSC’s members, including task force chairs and members of the group’s steering committee, attended the gathering, where Banks said they laid out their policy vision, which was modeled after Trump’s agenda while he was in office.
“We spent nearly two hours with the President with President Trump who’s in great spirits. We talked for most of the time about the work that the Republican Study Committee is doing to define the agenda for the future course of the Republican Party, which is fighting for the Trump agenda,” Banks said. “We talked about our election integrity bill, The Save Democracy Act, which he was very supportive of and we talked about what we’ve done to define immigration moving forward.”
Banks has looked to expand the RSC’s — which is the largest conservative caucus in Congress — role in the House GOP’s messaging efforts, attempting to offer contrasting policy proposals to the Biden administration ahead of the next election cycle.
According to one source in the room, Trump referred to the Indiana Republican as the “new type of leader we need in the party.”
While the Republican party has grappled with the path it should take in the post-Trump era — with Trump critics arguing it should shift away from the former president — Banks has been among the most vocal in his calls to lean into Trumpism, arguing that incorporating parts of Trump’s populist messaging is the best path forward in retaining the GOP base he attracted during his tenure.
Banks said that Trump has vowed to hit the campaign trail to candidates that support the RSC’s message ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.
“We believe we take back the majority by focusing on the Trump agenda, and President Trump plays a big role in that,” he said. “He’s obviously planning to go out and hit the road and campaign for candidates who share our vision, and we were excited to talk to him about that.”
The visit to Bedminster comes as Trump has expressed interest in potentially seeking the GOP’s presidential nomination in 2023. The RSC has met with a string of potential 2024 candidates, including former Vice President Mike Pence, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, with others having reached out to meet with the group.
The Indiana Republican said that Trump did not discuss 2024 ambitions with the group, but members of the group are supportive of a potential bid.
“I can say that members of our group are very encouraging, and if not encouraging him to run in 2024, encouraging him to continue to communicate with American people and engage with the American people,” he said.