Republican senator Bill Cassidy calls on Trump to end presidential campaign

August 21, 2023
Matthew Boose

Louisiana Republican Senator Bill Cassidy called on Donald Trump to end his presidential campaign, predicting that he will lose a rematch against Joe Biden in 2024. 

Cassidy told CNN's Kasie Hunt, "I think so" when asked if Trump should drop out, but added, "obviously, that's up to him."

"I mean, you're just asking me my opinion, but he will lose to Joe Biden if you look at the current polls," Cassidy added.

Republican urges Trump to quit

Despite facing four criminal indictments, Trump is tied with Joe Biden in the polls - and even leading Biden in some surveys.

Still, Cassidy predicted the classified documents case would seal Trump's fate with voters, calling it "almost a slam dunk."

"If that is proven, then we may have a candidate for president who has been convicted of a crime. I think Joe Biden needs to be replaced, but I don't think Americans will vote for someone who has been convicted."

The comment was an unusually direct rebuke from the institutional GOP, which has long had an uneasy relationship with the Trump and his populist movement. Cassidy was one of the Republican senators who voted to convict Trump of "insurrection" after January 6th.

"If former President Trump ends up getting the nomination but cannot win a general, that means four more years of policies which have led to very high inflation, to a loss of purchasing power for the average American equivalent to $10,000," he said.

Trump dominant

Cassidy wouldn't say directly whether he would choose Trump over Biden, linking the two on the issue of Social Security.

"I’m going to vote for a Republican, but my threshold issue for any person who wants to be the leader of our country is will you take care of the issues before us? Biden and Trump have the same policy on Social Security, which is to do nothing," Cassidy said.

While urging Republicans to find a new frontrunner, Cassidy wouldn't say who the party ought to back instead - instead urging Republicans to watch this week's debate in Milwaukee.

Trump confirmed Sunday that he is skipping the first primary debate Wednesday night, citing his significant lead over his Republican challengers. A fresh poll in Iowa found Trump ahead of his closest rival Ron DeSantis by 23 points.

Critics of DeSantis have faulted him for being timid about confronting Trump - although the governor has now been accused of dissing Trump supporters by referring to them as "listless vessels."

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