Prominent Senate Republicans are distancing themselves from former President Trump and his 2024 campaign after he called for the “termination” of parts of the U.S. Constitution this weekend.
The skepticism and Trump-exhaustion of GOP Senators are only the latest obstacle to hamper Trump’s lackluster 2024 campaign launch. He had argued this weekend that Twitter’s handling of the 2020 election was bad enough that it may require “termination” of the Constitution to address.
“I’m at a loss for words. We need to move on,” Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, told Politico, adding that Trump’s nomination is “increasingly less likely, given statements like that.”
Cornyn was far from alone, with several other Senators echoing his sentiment and saying Trump is not the right candidate.
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“I just think, in the end, he will not end up running because [of] the polling,” Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, reportedly said. “The trend line is not positive.”
“It’s just one of those intuitively obvious things, whether a candidate for office has sort of a bedrock principle, ‘are you going to support the Constitution?’” said Sen. John Thune, R-SD, said. “For him, it’s not all that unusual. But it will be the grist and plenty of fodder for those that are looking to get into that race.”
Thune told the outlet he “of course” disagrees with Trump but declined to say whether he would support Trump if he turned out to be the nominee.
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Sen. Pat Toomey, R-PA, argued to Politico that Trump’s candidacy will fall on its own merits, especially after the disastrous performance of his candidates in the midterm elections.
“The facts of the election in 2022 are just indisputable. The ultra, pro-Trump, handpicked by Trump, based on loyalty to Trump? Those candidates wildly underperformed,” Toomey said. “It’s pretty clear that he’s become a toxic force and that’s going to diminish his influence a lot.”
Trump brought up his attack on the constitution in response to the release of the “Twitter Files” on Friday, a trove of documents detailing Twitter’s communications on censorship in the 2020 election. Trump argued the files showed evidence of “fraud and deception” in the 2020 election and went on to say parts of the Constitution should be terminated to address it.
“So, with the revelation of MASSIVE & WIDESPREAD FRAUD & DECEPTION in working closely with Big Tech Companies, the DNC, & the Democrat Party, do you throw the Presidential Election Results of 2020 OUT and declare the RIGHTFUL WINNER, or do you have a NEW ELECTION?” Trump posted on social media.
“A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution,” he continued. “Our great ‘Founders’ did not want, and would not condone, False & Fraudulent Elections!”
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Trump has failed for years to provide evidence to support his claims of fraud in the 2020 election.
Trump’s comments were soon condemned by newly-minted Twitter CEO Elon Musk, who first leaked the information about the company’s censorship.
“The Constitution is greater than any President. End of story,” Musk wrote in response to a Fox News story on the topic.
President Biden has also said Trump’s comments should be “universally condemned.”
“The American Constitution is a sacrosanct document that for over 200 years has guaranteed that freedom and the rule of law prevail in our great country. The Constitution brings the American people together – regardless of party – and elected leaders swear to uphold it,” White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates said in a statement.
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“It’s the ultimate monument to all of the Americans who have given their lives to defeat self-serving despots that abused their power and trampled on fundamental rights. Attacking the Constitution and all it stands for is anathema to the soul of our nation, and should be universally condemned. You cannot only love America when you win.”