Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers (R) on Sunday clarified that he does not plan to vote for former President Trump again if he were to launch a re-election bid in 2024, a month after saying that he would vote for Trump if the former president challenges President Biden in 2024.
Bowers is running in the GOP primary for the Arizona state Senate this week amid backlash from Republicans, following his public testimony before the Jan. 6 Select Committee last month. Bowers is set to face off against Trump-endorsed candidate David Fansworth in the GOP primary. Bowers was also censured by the state GOP earlier this month.
In an interview with ABC News that aired Sunday, Bowers stood by his congressional testimony last month and his refusal to overturn Joe Biden’s victory in Arizona. Bowers testified to the Jan. 6 Select Committee about Trump’s attempts to pressure him into tossing out the election results. Bowers detailed his conversations with Trump and his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, who demanded that Bowers replace Arizona’s electors with fake ones to falsely declare Trump’s victory in the battleground state.
“The idea of throwing out the election of the president is like, OK, so what part of Jupiter do I get to land on and colonize?” Bowers said.
The former president derided Bowers as a “RINO” (“Republican in name only”) following his congressional testimony. Asked about his thoughts on Trump campaigning against him in his home state, Bowers said he believes the former president lacks courage.
“I have thought at times someone born how he was and raised how he was, he has no idea what a hard life is, and what people have to go through in the real world,” Bowers said. “He has no idea what courage is.”
Bowers also expressed his dismay over Trump’s hold on the GOP, calling state GOP leaders who boost the former president’s false claims of election fraud as people who are ruled by “thuggery and intimidation.”
“So, you know, they, they found a niche, they found a way and it’s fear. And people can use fear, demagogues like to use fears as a weapon. And they weaponize everything,” Bowers said. “That’s not leadership to me to use thuggery.”
Bowers was then asked to clarify where he stands with Trump nowadays.
“My vote will never tarnish his name on a ballot,” Bowers said, adding that he will “never vote for him.”
“But I won’t have to, because I think America’s tired,” Bowers continued. “And there’s absolutely forceful, qualified, morally, defensible, and upright people. And that’s what I want. That’s what I want in my party. And that’s what I want to see.”
Bowers had come under fire last month after saying that he’d still vote for Trump in 2024, following his testimony before the Jan. 6 Select Committee.
Bowers, however, walked back his comments in an interview with Deseret News earlier this month. The Arizona House speaker said he is “not inclined to support” Trump.
“I don’t want the choice of having to look at (Trump) again,” Bowers told Deseret News. “I don’t know what I’ll do. But I’m not inclined to support him.”
Watch Bowers’ remarks below: