Image source: Los Angeles Times
Republicans of the House and the Senate aren’t excited that former president Donald Trump launched his third race for the presidency this week.
Trump’s announcement came on Monday.
The reaction of Capitol Hill showed a drop in support after years of disputes and scandals.
In addition, the lack of interest in the Republican Party comes from their disappointing midterm performance.
A few dozen Republicans from both chambers were asked about Donald Trump’s return.
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 appealing to mainstream voters.
South Dakota Sen. Mike Rounds was among those who wanted someone new, 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 shared 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 former Trump allies shared Mike Simpson’s sentiments.
Many have pointed out how alienated the former president has become on Capitol Hill, especially after Tuesday’s election.
When asked about Donald Trump running again, Texas GOP Rep. Dan Crenshaw said, “Still?”
He was asked if he would align with 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 win if more candidates ran in 2024.
“I think we’re all better if there’s more of them up on the stage.”
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Meanwhile, others have begun to float rival candidates.
GOP Sen. Jerry Moran said he was focused on Mike Pompeo, a fellow Kansan and former secretary of state, and Senator 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 dodged questions about her support for Trump, saying instead:
“Let me tell you something: I do know the next Republican presidential contender is coming from Florida.”
Blame and distance
On Monday, several Republicans accused Donald Trump of pushing halfhearted candidates.
They also pointed to his obsession with his 2020 election loss, which undermined the case they were trying to make against Democrats that year.
South Dakota Senator June Thune of South Dakota said pursuing the 2020 election was not a winning strategy.
Surprisingly, many agreed with his view.
“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 GOP lawmaker had a harsh take at 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.