Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) on Sunday warned his fellow Republicans against relitigating the 2020 presidential election results if they are hoping to gain wins in 2024.
Appearing on MSNBC’s “Meet the Press,” Cassidy was asked whether Rep. Anthony Gonzalez’s (R-OH) announcement that he would not run for reelection in 2022 due to the “toxic dynamics” of his party is good or bad for the GOP. Gonzalez called Trump a “cancer for the country” in a New York Times interview on the day he announced his decision.
Cassidy replied that Gonzalez is “choosing his personal priorities” before going on to urging fellow Republicans to stop relitigating the 2020 election in order to start the process of gaining the support needed to snag victories in 2024.
“The broader question, frankly, is do Republicans continue to relitigate 2020, or do we look forward with a positive agenda?” Cassidy said. “If we relitigate 2020 over and over again, it won’t change the result in 2020, but we’re sure to lose in 2024.”
Cassidy then took aim at the Biden administration that he views as being “in disarray” and argued that a “positive agenda” will allow Republicans to win.
“But if we choose to be bullied, we’ll lose,” Cassidy said.
Asked about the GOP’s loyalty to Trump heading into next year’s midterm elections, Cassidy reiterated that Republicans will lose if they keep choosing to “relitigate the past.”
“We’ve got to speak about the future. Now, again, our country is looking for something which brings back the prosperity we had pre-pandemic,” Cassidy said. “Where economic benefit was principally going, or disproportionately going, to those in the lower portion of our economic scale.”
Pressed on whether he agrees with Gonzalez, Cassidy said that the GOP lawmaker, who was among the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for inciting the Capitol insurrection, was “really speaking about” the Republican Party.
“Politicians are not victims. Politicians make a choice,” Cassidy said. “If we choose to look forward, bringing positive solutions to the American people who have needs, we win. If we choose to be bullied, we lose.”
Cassidy then argued that people such as those whose communities were destroyed by Hurricane Ida likely feel strongly about the 2020 election, but that rebuilding their community is their top priority.
“Now if we meet that person’s needs, Republicans will do well in 2024, 2022,” Cassidy said. “And if we don’t, they’ll look elsewhere. Let’s meet their needs.”
This isn’t the first time Cassidy has spoken out against the GOP centering its identity around Trump in the aftermath of the deadly Capitol insurrection that the former president incited.
In May, Cassidy pushed back on Sen. Lindsey Graham’s (R-SC) remarks declaring that the Republican Party can’t move forward without Trump, amid House Republicans’ threats to oust Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) for her vehement criticism of the former president. (Cheney was ultimately ousted as the No. 3 Republican. Several Republican lawmakers have since expressed their outrage over her appointment to the Democratic-led House select committee probing the events of Jan. 6, with some calling for her ouster from the GOP conference.)
“If you look at polls, there is a whole group of folks that agree with Liz Cheney and so for us to win in 2022 and 2024, we need everybody,” Cassidy said during an interview on “Meet the Press” in May. “We need those who feel as Liz. We need those who feel as Lindsey.”
Cassidy reiterated that the GOP’s focus should be on policies in order to regain the majority in Congress next year.
“Now ultimately it’s about the policies. You see that Cheney, Cassidy support those policies. Those policies are our ticket to victory,” Cassidy said in May. “And I think those policies will bring us back in 2022.”
Watch Cassidy’s remarks below:
WATCH: After Rep. Gonzalez announced his retirement and called former President Trump ‘a cancer for the country,’ Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) says “politicians are not victims.” #MTP@SenBillCassidy: “If we choose to look forward … we win. If we choose to be bullied, we lose.” pic.twitter.com/jJ0G3hGwI3
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) September 19, 2021