A Republican senator who has long voiced his opposition to Donald Trump winning the GOP primary in 2024 is now saying he may not vote for either Joe Biden or Mr Trump next year if the two are their respective parties’ nominees.
Bill Cassidy spoke on Meet the Press on Sunday and explained that he would likely write in another candidate, essentially tossing away his vote, were the two to be on the ballot in November of 2024.
“I might have to write it in,” he said, after saying that he would vote for a Republican — but not necessarily Mr Trump.
Mr Cassidy, seen as a centrist who worked with the Biden White House to pass infrastructure legislation in late 2021, has remained adamant that he will not support the Democratic president for re-election in 2024. He had previously told Axios that he would not support Mr Trump for office again.
“President Trump is the first president, in the Republican side at least, to lose the House, the Senate and the presidency in four years. Elections are about winning,” Mr Cassidy said in 2021.
Those electability concerns surrounding the four-times-indicted former president have only deepened as Mr Trump’s legal woes grow. Republicans in the Senate, including Mr Cassidy, witnessed their party bungle a major opportunity for gains in both chambers last year when the midterm elections failed to produce a “red wave” predicted by many on the pro-Trump right in the weeks prior. In the House, Republicans saw minor gains that produced a paper-thin GOP majority that is paralysed by the far-right, while the Senate GOP conference saw Democrats actually gain one seat in the chamber, and widen their majority.
WATCH: If Trump is the GOP’s nominee, will @SenBillCassidy (R-La.) vote for him?
Cassidy: “We're keeping our streak alive. Every time we’ve met, you’ve asked me about this.”@chucktodd: “Why isn’t it an easy answer?”
"I might have to write [a Republican] in.” pic.twitter.com/zqznlxUswH
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) September 10, 2023
Mr Trump has loudly blamed everyone else in the GOP besides himself for the Republican Party’s misfortune last year, and maintains a strong lead in the presidential primary to the great chagrin of his party’s leadership in the Senate. He remains charged with 91 felony counts, and is due to face four criminal trials over the next year or so.
Polls have reflected Mr Trump’s continued weakness even against Joe Biden, whose age has led a majority of Democratic voters to feel that it is time for him to step aside. The ex-president remains neck-and-neck with his 2020 opponent in surveys of their hypothetical 2024 rematch, though Mr Biden holds an edge in some key swing states that decided the last race in his favour.