Sen. Bill Cassidy Urges Republicans Not to Put Trump ‘On a Pedestal’: ‘If We Idolize One Person, We Will Lose’
Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) warned that the Republican Party will observe more political losses if it continues to “idolize” former President Donald Trump.
Cassidy gave an interview to CNN’s Dana Bash on Sunday, just hours before Trump is set to make his first public appearance in over a month with his headliner speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). This will also be Trump’s first big speech since he was impeached for incitement of insurrection after his supporters — fueled by his delegitimization of the 2020 election – stormed the U.S. Capitol in a violent attempt to keep him in power.
While Trump’s second impeachment failed to reach the supermajority of votes needed to succeed, Cassidy was one of the 7 Republican senators who broke party ranks by voting to convict in the most bipartisan impeachment trial vote in U.S. history. Since the Republican Party faces questions now about what its political future will look like, Bash started by asking Cassidy what he thinks Trump’s role will be for that.
Let me put it this way: we’ve got win in two years, we’ve got to win in four years. If we do that, we’ll do that by speaking to those issues that are important to the American people — and there’s a lot of issues important to them right now — not by putting one person on a pedestal and making that one person our focal point. If we speak to those issue to those families, those individuals, we win. That’s where our focus should be.
Bash noted that CPAC has been a celebration of Trump all weekend, and the former president’s influence is hardly diminishing.
“Can the GOP move forward in the direction that you were just talking about if Trump is still very much in the spotlight?” Bash asked.
Cassidy responded by noting that the GOP lost the House of Representatives, the Senate and the White House on Trump’s watch. He further argued that the GOP will only win again if it broadens its appeal beyond Trump supporters and reaches out to persuadable voters.
When Bash asked if he was recommending the GOP “sideline” Trump, Cassidy emphasized that the key to victory is by reaching new people.
“Before the Covid crisis hit, we had record employment for every group,” he said. “So if that’s the case, and we can speak to those policies and those families, then we’ll win. But if we idolize one person, we will lose. And that’s kind of clear from the last election.”
Watch above, via CNN.
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