Outgoing Sen. Pat Toomey has a message for the Republican party ahead of the next presidential election: do not renominate Donald Trump in 2024.
Toomey, R-Pa., is retiring in 2022 following two decades in Congress as a senator and congressman. In an interview with CNBC released Friday, Toomey warned that his party needs to be a “party of ideas” if it wants to succeed and not “a party about any one individual.” To this end, he shared his belief that Republicans would be making a mistake if they allowed Trump to lead their ticket in the next election.
“I think after what happened post-2020 election, I think the president’s behavior was completely unacceptable, so I don’t think he should be the nominee to lead the party in 2024,” Toomey told the outlet on the sidelines of an economic forum in Italy.
Following his defeat to Democrat and now President Joe Biden, Trump launched a vocal crusade against the outcome of the election by arguing he was unfairly cheated out of a victory. For months, he pushed theories on voter fraud costing him a second term. None of these claims were substantiated by state and federal agencies, including Trump’s own Department of Justice as well as the Supreme Court.
The furor riled up by the ex-president reached a boiling point on Jan. 6 when a mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol building to try and prevent the certification of the election results. Trump’s vice president, Mike Pence, and members of Congress were taken to safety as law enforcement fought rioters to take back the Capitol. Today over 600 individuals have been arrested by the FBI and charged with crimes related to the event.
While some Republicans have remained steadfast in their devotion to Trump, Toomey was quick to condemn him. He was later one of only seven Republicans in the Senate to vote for Trump’s impeachment, earning him a “strong rebuke” from his home state’s GOP. He justified his decision in a post-impeachment statement that accused Trump of a “betrayal of the Constitution.”
Toomey remains firm in his identification as a conservative despite the fusillade of attacks he has received from Trump’s supporters for his impeachment vote. The retiring senator argues that he is the one who remains true to conservative principles as demonstrated by his voting record and that it is Trump who broke from them.
“It is President Trump who departed from Republican orthodoxy and conservative orthodoxy in a variety of ways. I stuck to the conservative views that I’ve had for a long time,” said Toomey.