Libs Of TikTok creator Chaya Raichik and anti-LGBTQ+ presidential candidate Nikki Haley (R) both recently gave speeches to mostly empty rooms at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
Also, before far-right Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene gave her own CPAC speech, the former head of the Republican National Committee (RNC) said on TV that Green is “crazy” and an “embarrassment” who needs to “shut the hell up.”
Raichik, whose tweets referring to LGBTQ+ people as child mutilators and “groomers” have led to death threats against hospitals and students, joined several panelists to discuss gay CNN anchor Don Lemon’s recent comments calling Haley “past her prime.”
The topic itself seemed pretty weak considering that Lemon was widely condemned for his sexist remark. He later apologized for it, and CNN made him undergo sensitivity training. But nonetheless, Raichik and her co-panelists felt like beating the dead horse in front of a mostly empty conference room.
An image of the mostly empty room was shared on Twitter by trans rights activist and civil rights attorney Alejandra Caraballo. Caraballo’s tweet noted that Raichik once mocked Washington Post journalist Taylor Lorenz for broadcasting a virtual conference speech to a mostly empty room. Raichik dislikes Lorenz for unmasking her as the Libs Of TikTok creator.
“Turns out that bots don’t attend conferences,” Caraballo wrote, insinuating that most of Raichik’s 1.9 million Twitter followers are automated non-human accounts.
Not to be outdone by Raichik, Haley also gave a speech to a similarly empty room as she told listeners that “wokeness is a virus” more dangerous than COVID. COVID has killed approximately 1.13 million Americans.
“We need our military to be stronger than ever. But what does Joe Biden have our troops doing? Taking gender pronoun classes,” Haley told the largely empty hall. “Now I’m the wife of a combat veteran, and that disgusts me. Our troops already know the difference between men and women. They also know that we need a different commander-in-chief.”
Al Jazeera journalist Alan Fisher noted that the room was “half empty” for CPAC speech — pretty lackluster considering that Haley only announced her presidential campaign barely two weeks ago.
Haley has said of Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law “I don’t think [it] goes far enough.” She also thinks that mentioning LGBTQ+ people around elementary schoolers is the same as exposing kids to sex education.
As Haley took photos in the hallways after her CPAC speech, people shouted “Trump! Trump! Trump!” at her, the name of the former president whose candidacy she’s opposing.
Meanwhile, the emptiness of Raichik and Haley’s presentations was matched by far-right CPAC speaker Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA).
Greene, a stalwart anti-LGBTQ+ troll, said that former House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) “doesn’t believe in gender at all.” Greene also mentioned her intention to introduce a bill that would punish any medical professional who provides gender-affirming care to transgender youth with 10 to 25 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines. Her bill has no chance of passing the Democratic-controlled Senate to become law.
Former Republican National Committee (RNC) Chair Michael Steele said on Thursday that Greene needs to “just shut the hell up” after she recently suggested starting a civil war between blue and red states.
“She has no clue what the hell she’s talking about,” Steele said in a Thursday interview on MSNBC’s The 11th Hour. “Why do we listen to this crazy fool? Marjorie Taylor Greene, please just shut the hell up. Do us all a favor. You are an embarrassment to the Republican Party and to the country as a congresswoman.”
Meanwhile, other high-profile Republicans and Fox News have largely abandoned CPAC after Matt Schlapp — the chairman of the American Conservative Union, the group that organizes the CPAC — was accused of groping a male political staffer.