Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy said on Sunday that he does not think Donald Trump can win a general election in 2024. He’s the latest Republican to back out of supporting the former president in his effort to take back the White House.
“I don’t think Trump can win a general election,” Cassidy told CNN’s “State of the Union,” after he was asked about Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ (R) alleged statement that there are only three “credible” candidates for president ― Trump, President Joe Biden and himself ― and that only the latter two could win in the general election.
The Louisiana senator said that the alleged claim by DeSantis is “a nice way for him to diss people like Tim Scott, who’s a pretty formidable candidate.” Scott, a Republican senator from South Carolina, filed paperwork on Friday to officially run for president.
DeSantis is expected to officially announce his presidential candidacy this week, though the Republican governor has already been considered Trump’s biggest rival in a growing pool of GOP presidential candidates. DeSantis has garnered national attention for turning Florida into a hostile state for marginalized groups, including Black and brown residents, refugees, abortion-seekers and members of the LGBTQ community.
While Trump ― who incited an insurrection at the Capitol in 2021 to try and stay in power ― is still considered the GOP front-runner, Cassidy said recent elections have shown that Trump’s name is no longer associated with victory. The Louisiana Republican cited swing states like Georgia, Pennsylvania and Arizona, where all Senate candidates who were endorsed by Trump lost their race in the 2022 midterm elections.
“If you had taken the votes that went to other Republicans and put them together, those Republicans would have won,” the senator said. “So I think 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.”