Despite Trump’s early 2024 campaign announcement, Republican senators are wary of dubbing him the current “leader” of the Party.
Over the weekend, Bill Cassidy (R-LA) was especially harsh on the former president and rejected Trump as the leader of the Republican Party and said the GOP could shift away from his influence in the future.
According to The Hill, Cassidy told CNN’s Pamela Brown that despite polls indicating Trump as the top candidate to receive the Party’s nomination he thinks Republicans should support someone else.
“The Republican Party does not have a president in office right now,” Cassidy said. “It does not have anybody who’s obviously not my leader.”
Cassidy on Saturday echoed other Republicans in calling for the party to “speak about the future” rather than fixating on issues in the past.
“We’re led by principles. We’re led by kind of concepts,” Cassidy said. “A right-of-center party which thinks that smaller government, that individual responsibility, that free markets is more likely to bring prosperity to a family and prosperity to our country. … If we are responsible to those principles, then we win.”
Cassidy has been critical of Trump over the years, even voting to impeach the former president in 2021.
According to Politico, some Republican lawmakers are holding out hope South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott launches a White House bid in 2024.
Joni Ernst is “very excited” about a potential Tim Scott presidential run. John Cornyn would “advise him to go for it.” And John Barrasso said it “doesn’t get any better than Tim Scott.”
Even Sen. Lindsey Graham, who spent much of Donald Trump’s presidency sticking to his side, said he’s intrigued by the possibility of a Scott presidential bid in 2024 and wants to see “what Tim does” before he makes any endorsements.
Scott would “bring something to the table on day one,” Graham said, adding his South Carolina colleague has “one of the most compelling stories of any Republican out there.”