The Toomey vs Trump saga continues.
Sen. Pat Toomey and former President Donald Trump have been at odds over a number of matters during the past several years.
The latest chapter of their on-and-off feud picked back up on Friday when Toomey told CNBC that the GOP should not nominate Trump for president in 2024.
“I think that the future of our party is to be a party of ideas, and not to be a party about any one individual, and I think we will learn a lot from the next set of primaries,” Toomey said to CNBC. “I think after what happened post-2020 election, I think the president’s behavior was completely unacceptable, so I don’t think he should be the nominee to lead the party in 2024.”
Toomey, who voted for Trump for president in 2016 and 2020, was one of seven GOP Senators to vote to convict Trump following his conduct after the most recent presidential election.
In the CNBC interview, Toomey continued to defend his conservative bonafides, despite his criticism of Trump.
“I’m a conservative Republican by any objective measure, by looking at the voting record, by looking at my views compared to that of a traditional conservative Republican,” Toomey told CNBC. “It is President Trump who departed from Republican orthodoxy and conservative orthodoxy in a variety of ways. I stuck to the conservative views that I’ve had for a long time, he had a different point of view on matters such as trade and sometimes immigration and other things.”
Trump fired back in a statement on Tuesday afternoon blasting the outgoing GOP Senator, while boosting Sean Parnell’s candidacy for his seat in 2022.
“The only reason Senator “Gloomy” Pat Toomey is not running for the Senate in Pennsylvania is that I would not give him an endorsement—I feel he has been a terrible representative for both Pennsylvania and the United States, as a whole,” Trump said. “His views on Tariffs and so-called Free Trade (where other nations take total advantage of the United States), are archaic. He ran with me in 2016 and wasn’t expected to win, but because of my victory he did.”
“He still doesn’t realize what happened, and why—not the sharpest tool in the shed,” Trump continued. “Fortunately for Pennsylvania, we have a great Senate candidate, Sean Parnell, who I have just given my Complete and Total Endorsement. He will do all of the things that Toomey is incapable of doing. Sean Parnell will represent the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania the way it should be represented—and it’s about time!”
Although Trump claims that Toomey won reelection in 2016 because of him carrying the Keystone State, Toomey outperformed Trump. Toomey bested Democrat Katie McGinty by nearly 1.5 points, while Trump edged out Sec. Hillary Clinton by 0.7 points.
This isn’t the first time since the end of Trump’s presidency that Toomey has made comments urging the GOP to move on from the former president.
During a speech at the Pennsylvania Press Club in late-June, Toomey said that he wants to see Republicans take back the U.S. Senate and the House in 2022, although he warned against blind loyalty to Trump, as the former President is taking in active role in campaigning leading up to the 2022 election.
“I do think it’s important to win elections, especially in competitive districts in competitive states, candidates will have to run on ideas and principles, not on allegiance to a man,” Toomey said to reporters at the PA Press Club.