Former GOP Rep. Francis Rooney says the 'world has moved beyond Trump'
- A former GOP congressman said the American people have "moved on from Trump."
- Former Rep. Francis Rooney said there are a "number of very conservative Republicans" who remain focused on Trumpism.
A former Republican member of Congress said the American people have "moved beyond Trump," though some of his former colleagues haven't picked up on that.
The comments from former Rep. Francis Rooney of Florida come days after former President Donald Trump launched his 2024 bid for the presidency and received a muted response from the GOP.
"The world has moved beyond Trump, but there are a certain number of very conservative Republicans who don't seem to have that figured out yet," Rooney said on "Meet the Press Now" on NBC News on Friday. "I wouldn't be for him."
"It's not super encouraging," Rooney continued. "While Trump buried us with these elections, so many people are still currying favor and hiding under Trump's penumbra, and I don't see the value of that and to keep hearkening back on the past."
Following midterm elections in which several of Trump's hand-selected candidates lost their races, Republican leaders have held back from giving Trump their immediate endorsement, a stark contrast from previous elections. Potential candidates who may rival Trump in the 2024 race for the presidency are in no rush to announce their run – something that typically happens in the summer or fall of the year prior to an election (as opposed to Trump's hurried announcement shortly after midterm elections).
On NBC, Rooney said Americans care more about kitchen table issues, such as gas prices and inflation, than rehashing the past.
"I think they want stability," Rooney said. "The American people want solutions, not treading back through the past."
Rooney, one of the first Republicans to suggest Trump may have committed impeachable offenses in his dealings with Ukraine, announced his retirement in 2019, according to Politico.
There were "some very conservative people who were not happy with me being the first Republican to break from Trump, something which I'm quite proud of right now," Rooney said on NBC.
He added that part of the reason some members of Congress haven't severed ties with Trump is their claim to their congressional seats.
"A lot of these guys, it's the best job they'll ever get, and they cling like a barnacle to a piling to hold onto it instead of trying to serve the people and do the best for our country," Rooney said. "The forefathers never would have assumed we'd need term limits because no one wanted to serve that long anyway."
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