House Republican who voted against certifying 2020 election results now says Trump 'lost his mind' and that it 'would be best for the party' if someone else led it in 2024
- Chris Jacobs nixed his reelection bid after announcing support for a ban on military-style rifles.
- No longer facing GOP primary voters, Jacobs says his party needs a leader other than Trump.
Republican Rep. Chris Jacobs of New York said President Donald Trump "lost his mind" after losing the 2020 presidential election and that the party needed a "new generation of leadership" in 2024.
Jacobs was one of 147 congressional Republicans who voted to object to the certification of some states' 2020 election results, though he voted in favor of establishing a bipartisan commission to investigate January 6, 2021.
Now the retiring House Republican — who no longer has to face GOP primary voters — is speaking out more forcefully against Trump.
"I just think his judgment from Election Day to January 6 was — I just think he lost his mind," Jacobs told The Buffalo News, referring to Trump. "I really do. I just do."
He pointed to the 1960 presidential election — when John F. Kennedy, a Democrat, narrowly prevailed over Richard Nixon, a Republican — as a model for how Trump should have behaved.
"Most people agree that there was fraud in that race," Jacobs told the outlet, referring to doubts about the validity of that election. "Did they know back then? Oh, absolutely."
He added that "even Richard Nixon" didn't attempt to do what Trump did and that he "came back and fought another day."
He also told The Buffalo News that it would be "best for the party if we embrace the new generation of leadership" and that "a lot" of Trump's accomplishments were "undone" by his attempts to overturn the 2020 election results, which culminated in the January 6 riot at the Capitol.
Jacobs, first elected in a 2020 special election, abandoned his reelection bid this year. He faced backlash for his embrace of a ban on military-style rifles after a mass shooting at a Buffalo, New York, grocery store in May.
"It would be an incredibly divisive election for both the Republican Party and the people of the 23rd District," he said at a press conference announcing his decision, adding: "The last thing we need is an incredibly negative half-truth-filled media attack funded by millions of dollars of special-interest money coming into our community around this issue of guns and gun violence and gun control."
Jacobs was among the 14 House Republicans who voted in favor of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, a package of gun restrictions passed in the wake of a mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. He voted for other Democratic-proposed gun restrictions that have not been taken up by the Senate.
The New York Republican told The Buffalo News that he'd been following the January 6 committee's public hearings and would be speaking out again after the committee issued a final report.