Joe O’Dea said Trump should have acted more decisively to stop the violence on Jan. 6, 2021, and called for anyone responsible for the events of that day to be held accountable.
Asked if the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol should disqualify Trump from running in 2024, O’Dea said the former president should stay out of the race.
O’Dea said Republicans like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) could win two consecutive terms as president.
“I’m going to do my job as a U.S. senator to make sure that they have good campaigns in the primary here so we have a good selection of candidates for 2024,” O’Dea told CNN’s Dana Bash.
O’Dea is running as a somewhat moderate Republican in November’s midterm election, hoping to unseat incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.).
Trump responded to O’Dea’s criticism Monday with a characteristic lack of self-awareness.
“MAGA doesn’t Vote for stupid people with big mouths,” he said in a statement. “Good luck Joe!”
Bennett leads O’Dea in the polls, with polling aggregation site FiveThirtyEight projecting a 7.9-point advantage as of Tuesday.
Democrats tried to boost O’Dea’s primary opponent, state Rep. Ron Hanks, an election denier who had also participated in the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection, spending millions in ads.
The Jan. 6 committee on Thursday voted to subpoena Trump for testimony.
“We must seek the testimony, under oath, of Jan. 6’s key player,” Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the vice chair of the panel, said during the hearing.
Ryan Grenoble contributed reporting.