GOP Senator Will Not Back Trump

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) said last week that she would not be backing former President Donald Trump in November’s election. The senator’s statement came after Sen. Todd Young (R-IN) and former Vice President Mike Pence also declared that they would not be endorsing Trump over President Joe Biden.

Murkowski said that she wished that the Republican Party had a “nominee I could get behind.”

“I certainly can’t get behind Donald Trump,” she said.

Murkowski was one of two senators to back the candidacy of former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R). Haley has not endorsed Trump after leaving the presidential race.

The senator also voted to convict Trump after his second impeachment.

Murkowski further said that the Jan. 6, 2021 protest at the Capitol “can’t be defended.”

The senator hinted at becoming an independent. “I just regret that our party is seemingly becoming a party of Donald Trump,” she said.

Young said in a statement that he would not back Trump despite supporting him in 2020. He called Trump’s judgment “wrong” due to the former president’s position on the war between Russia and Ukraine.

When asked why he wouldn’t back the former president, Young asked “where do I begin?”

Pence announced earlier this month that he would not be backing Trump.

“That being said, during my presidential campaign, I made it clear there were profound differences between me and President Trump on a range of issues, not just our difference on my constitutional duties that I exercised on January 6. As I have watched his candidacy unfold, I’ve seen him walking away from our commitment to confronting the national debt. I’ve seen him starting to shy away from a commitment to the sanctity of human life,” Pence said.

Despite the several holdouts, the former president has largely consolidated Republican elected officials, gaining dozens of House and Senate endorsements. He also received a number of high-profile nods from Republican governors.

The former president’s influence can also be seen through major changes at the Republican National Committee (RNC), where longtime chair Ronna McDaniel left the position. In the new leadership team was Trump’s daughter-in-law Lara Trump, who became the co-chair.