GOP Senators Differ With Trump on DeSantis

Running for president wouldn't be disloyal, it would be politics, Republicans say
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 1, 2023 5:45 PM CST
GOP Senators Differ With Trump on DeSantis
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis appears at a press conference Thursday in Miami.   (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)

Several Republican senators say whether Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis runs for president is up to him, not Donald Trump. "I think we need some new blood," Sen. John Cornyn said when asked about a DeSantis candidacy, "and I think he'd probably qualify." The former president has claimed credit for DeSantis' election to his first term and said running for the party's presidential nomination—against Trump—"would be a great act of disloyalty." Trump is the only declared candidate so far. Not all Republicans in the Senate agree with the loyalty argument, though Sens. JD Vance and Eric Schmitt endorsed Trump this week, the Hill reports.

Sen. Cynthia Lummis said she expects several Republicans to enter the race, possibly including former members of Trump's Cabinet. "So, it's not a matter of disloyalty," Lummis said. "The person who best articulates a future agenda for the country will emerge from Republican primary, and it's not a foregone conclusion who that will be." Sens. Marco Rubio and Mike Rounds gave similar answers, with Rounds saying "Gov. DeSantis can speak for himself." A CBS News/YouGov poll published this month found 35% of registered Republicans said they consider remaining loyal to Trump to be very important, per the Hill. (Read more Ron DeSantis stories.)

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