Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana said Sunday he doesn’t think Donald Trump would be able to win a general election, pointing to the GOP’s disappointing performance in last year’s midterm elections when several candidates endorsed by the former president went down to defeat.
“The president’s kind of high-profile endorsement of those candidates actually hurt those candidates, at least in the general election. So if past is prologue, that means President Trump is going to have a hard time in those swing states, which means that he cannot win a general election,” he told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.”
Senate GOP candidates in key swing states such as Arizona, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Georgia were able to parlay Trump’s endorsement into winning their primaries but were unable to win in November. The former president is currently seen as the front-runner for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination.
Cassidy, who was one of seven GOP senators who voted to convict Trump in 2021 at his second impeachment trial, also weighed in Sunday on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is expected to enter the race for the GOP presidential nomination this week.
The New York Times reported last week that DeSantis told donors and supporters during a call that there were only three credible candidates in the 2024 race – himself, President Joe Biden and Trump – and that only he and Biden had a chance of winning the general election.
Cassidy, while agreeing with the governor on Trump, dismissed the comments as a “competitor trying to dis others.”
“I don’t think Trump can win a general election, but that is a nice way for him to dis people like Tim Scott, who is a pretty formidable candidate,” he said.
Scott, the only Black Republican in the Senate, has filed paperwork to run for president and is expected to make a formal announcement on Monday in his home state of South Carolina.