Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania is right to urge fellow Republicans not to nominate former President Donald Trump should he announce a bid to be the 2024 GOP presidential nominee, as is expected.
Toomey was speaking to CNBC at Italy’s Ambrosetti Forum on Friday. “I think after what happened post-2020 election, I think the president’s behavior was completely unacceptable,” he said. “So I don’t think he should be the nominee to lead the party in 2024.”
After largely supporting the former president’s agenda, Toomey drew the line at Trump’s behavior following his 2020 election loss and his involvement in the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol.
While we have not often agreed with the senator’s conservative positions, we commend Toomey for being one of seven Republican senators to vote to convict Trump on an impeachment charge of inciting an insurrection at the Capitol.
While Toomey is right in calling for his party not to nominate Trump for the presidency in 2024, his plea will likely be ignored.
Trump continues to set the agenda of the Republican Party. Trump’s Republican critics have been ostracized.
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) was expelled from her House leadership position this summer for her defiance of Trump.
For this departure from Trump loyalism, which had become required of Republicans since 2016, Toomey nearly received formal censure from his party.
The senator was one of the first members of his party to congratulate President Joe Biden for his win, saying that “Trump should accept the outcome of the election and facilitate the presidential transition process.”
Toomey has said he is a true conservative Republican and that it has been Trump whose actions have polluted Republican waters.
“I’m a conservative Republican by any objective measure, by looking at the voting record, by looking at my views compared to that of a traditional conservative Republican,” Toomey told CNBC’s Steve Sedgwick.
“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. He had a different point of view on matters such as trade and sometimes immigration and other things,” the senator said.
Toomey has said he will not seek reelection, which reduces the pressure on him to toe the party line and allows him to speak more freely.
Trump has yet to officially announce a bid for the White House in 2024. However, he has suggested many times publicly that he will run. GOP Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio reportedly told a journalist last week that Trump will announce his intention to run “any day now.”
For the sake of the country, the Republican Party should not nominate Trump in 2024.