Image source: Los Angeles Times
Republicans in the House and Senate are not thrilled that former President Donald Trump launched his third presidential race this week.
Trump’s presidential bid announcement came Monday.
Capitol Hill’s response showed a drop in support after years of disputes and scandals.
Moreover, the lack of interest in the Republican Party stems from its disappointing midterm performance.
A few dozen Republicans from both chambers were asked about Donald Trump’s presidential bid.
However, very few expressed enthusiasm for the 2024 race.
Instead, many have pinned their hopes on another emerging candidate or in a broader field so voters can choose someone who appeals to wider audiences.
South Dakota Sen. Mike Rounds was among those who wanted a new candidate, saying:
“I want someone who is going to unite our party. That’s how we win elections. A reasonable person who would unite the party.”
Idaho Rep.Mike Simpson echoed his sentiments, saying:
“Let’s see who runs. Personally, I don’t think it’s good for the party.”
“I think his policies were good,” Simpson added. “I just don’t need all the drama with it.”
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Many of Trump’s former allies shared Mike Simpson’s sentiments.
Most pointed out how alienated the former president has become on Capitol Hill, especially after Tuesday’s election.
When asked if Donald Trump was in the running again, Texas GOP Rep. Dan Crenshaw responded: “Still?”
He was questioned if he would join Trump, and Crenshaw responded, “Hell no.”
“None of us are entitled to these jobs,” said Trump ally and North Dakota Republican Sen. Kevin Cramer regarding the 2024 bid.
“He’s certainly not entitled to it. And I certainly wouldn’t be making any decision (to endorse) this soon.”
Moreover, according to Cramer, the party would have higher chances of winning if more candidates were running in 2024.
“I think we’re all better if there’s more of them up on the stage.”
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Meanwhile, others began fielding competing candidates.
GOP Sen. Jerry Moran said he was focusing on Mike Pompeo, a Kansan colleague and former secretary of state, and Sen. Tim Scott, a Republican from South Carolina.
“I think we have lots of Republicans who are interested in being our nominee for president,” said Moran, referencing Trump.
“And I’m interested in letting the American people make this decision. And I’m interested in seeing those people rise to the top.”
Republican Florida Representative Maria Elvira Salazar avoided questions about supporting Trump, saying instead:
“Let me tell you something: I do know the next Republican presidential contender is coming from Florida.”
Blame and distance
Several Republicans on Monday accused Donald Trump of pushing half-hearted candidates.
They also highlighted his obsession with his 2020 election loss, undermining the case they tried to file against Democrats that year.
South Dakota Senator John Thune of South Dakota said pursuing the 2020 election was not a winning strategy.
Surprisingly, many agreed with his opinion.
“I think looking forward is always a better campaign strategy,” said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia.
“Looking back to 2020 obviously didn’t work out.”
However, a moderate-leaning GOP lawmaker offered a harsh take on Trump’s presidential bid, saying:
“It’s like we’re on season 7, 8 of ‘The Apprentice.’ People are sick of it, they want to turn the channel. Let’s find something else.”
Meanwhile, Trump’s longtime critics, like Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, want no involvement with Trump’s third run.