BY JOHN BOWDEN –
Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) predicted Sunday that former President Trump would not be the party’s nominee for president in 2024, pointing to the number of seats lost by Republicans in the House and Senate over the four years Trump was in office.
Speaking with CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union,” Cassidy was asked several times whether he would support Trump should he run in 2024 or back him if he wins the GOP nomination, as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he would last week.
“That’s a theoretical that I don’t think will come to pass,” Cassidy responded, adding, “I don’t mean to duck, but the truth is you could ask me [about] a lot of people, if they are fit. Point is, I don’t think he’ll be our nominee.”
“Political campaigns are about winning,” the senator added before pointing to the loss of GOP control of the House, Senate and White House under the former president.
“That has not happened in a single four years under a president since Herbert Hoover,” Cassidy said.
Asked about Trump’s strength in the Republican Party, as evidenced by the parade of pro-Trump speakers at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) this weekend, Cassidy dismissed the possibility that Trump still controlled the GOP.
“CPAC is not the entirety of the Republican Party,” he said while arguing that the GOP should focus less on personalities and more on speaking to 2016 Trump supporters who flipped to vote for President Biden in November.
“If we idolize one person, we will lose,” Cassidy said, adding, “If we speak to those issues, to those families, to those individuals, that’s when we win.”
Cassidy was one of seven GOP senators to defect and join Senate Democrats earlier this month in voting to convict Trump during the former president’s second impeachment trial. Though the former president was not convicted, the vote was the most bipartisan impeachment vote in history.