Republican Senator Pat Toomey has warned against nominating Donald Trump loyalists in the upcoming primaries, speaking in a wide-ranging interview ahead of the first post-presidential rally this weekend.
And Tommy warned that Trump’s approach could hurt his party’s chances at the polls in next year’s midterm elections, when control of the House and Senate and dozens of Conservative mansions are within reach. He has represented Pennsylvania since 2010 but will not seek re-election next year.
“if [Trump] He endorses candidates based on their loyalty to him, and they are not strong candidates per se, then we can have an election in 2022 that goes worse than it should be,” Tommy, a former derivatives trader and top Republican on the powerful Senate Banking Committee, told the Financial Times. That’s too bad for him, right?”
Tommy’s warning came ahead of a rally planned by Trump on Saturday night across the Pennsylvania border in Ohio. The former president will chair an event in the small town of Wellington sponsored by the Save America political action committee.
Trump is campaigning there for Max Miller, one of his former advisers who launched a primary challenge against Republican Congressman Anthony Gonzalez. Trump endorsed Miller, calling him a “true patriot,” while saying that Gonzalez “should not represent the residents of the 16th district because he does not represent their interests or their hearts.”
Gonzalez was one of ten Republican members of the House of Representatives who voted to impeach Trump over his actions January 6, when a crowd of his supporters stormed the Capitol and stood to certify Joe Biden as the Electoral College. Trump has not ruled out running for office again in 2024.
“If it turns out that the hard-line pro-Trump candidates approved by Trump underperformed in the general election, that’s a very powerful lesson the party will learn the hard way,” Tommy said.
The Republican Party is divided On how to move forward with Trump no longer in the White House. Tommy was one of seven Republican senators who voted to convict him in his second impeachment trial. Tommy told the Financial Times that Trump was a “flawed figure” who “completely got off the rails” after the November elections. But he insisted he remains optimistic about his party’s future.
“We are going through a difficult period. But I think what we will end up with is . . .[with]Republican consensus. . . This looks back and says, you know, the Trump presidency has made a lot of very important accomplishments, like the best economy of our lives.
“I hope I get to the point where we say, well, we had this very flawed character. But when he was applying Republican orthodoxy, it worked out really well,” Tommy added, citing tax reform and Release as examples. “When the party gets to the point where we can admit it, and I think we’ll do it . . . then I think the party will be fine.”
Tommy surprised many in Washington when he announced in October that he would not seek re-election or pursue the position of Governor of Pennsylvania. His decision – which he insisted was a personal, not a political one – paved the way for an electoral battle.
Biden won Pennsylvania, a crucial swing state, in last year’s presidential election, raising Democrats’ hopes that they could reclaim Tommy’s seat in next year’s midterm elections. Eight Democrats — including Deputy Governor John Fetterman and state Representative Malcolm Kenyatta — announced their candidacy, as did five Republicans.
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