Bill Cassidy, the Louisiana Republican senator, predicted on Sunday morning that Donald Trump will 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.
Cassidy was asked on CNN’s State of the Union show whether he would support Trump if the former president runs for another term in 2024, or if he would support him if he did run and won the Republican nomination to challenge Joe Biden.
“That’s a theoretical that I don’t think will come to pass,” Cassidy said.
He added: “I don’t mean to duck, but the truth is … I don’t think he’ll be our nominee.”
Cassidy also warned his party against revolving around a single dominant figure.
“If we idolize one person, we will lose,” he said.
“Political campaigns are about winning,” the senator added.
In the 2020 election, Trump and his party lost control of the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives.
“That has not happened in a single four years under a president since [former President] Herbert Hoover,” Cassidy said.
Trump was then impeached for a historic second time, for inciting the 6 January deadly insurrection at the US Capitol after his supporters charged Congress and invaded both chambers after being riled up over the election result by Trump at a rally near the White House moments before.
Cassidy was one of seven Republican senators who voted to convict Trump at his impeachment trial.
Trump also presided over management of the coronavirus pandemic in the US, claiming the virus would “just disappear”, deliberately playing down the full dangers early on and floating bogus treatments, while more than 500,000 perished, by far the highest death toll in the world.
Asked about Trump’s strength in the GOP, as the rightwing conservative conference CPAC has lined up speaker after speaker lauding the former president over the last three days, with some repeating his lies that he really won the 2020 election, Cassidy rejected the notion that Trump controls the party.
“CPAC is not the entirety of the Republican party,” he said.
He argued that the GOP should focus on those voters who switched from Trump to Biden in the November election.
“If we speak to those issues, to those families, to those individuals, that’s when we win,” he said.