'We're not a cult': GOP Sen. Bill Cassidy defends GOP leadership after the party's poor performance in the 2022 midterms

'We're not a cult': GOP Sen. Bill Cassidy defends GOP leadership after the party's poor performance in the 2022 midterms
Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana.Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images
  • Sen. Bill Cassidy spoke up in defense of Republican leaders following disappointing midterm results.
  • Cassidy said there's not "one person who leads our party" unless it's a sitting president.

Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy defended GOP leaders following disappointing midterm election results, saying the party is "not a cult."

The Louisiana lawmaker told NBC's "Meet the Press" he will continue to support Mitch McConnell as Senate leader, though there may be a "necessary debate about ideas" within the party.

NBC's Chuck Todd posed the question of whether maintaining support for the same GOP leaders – namely McConnell, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, former President Donald Trump, and the RNC's Ronna McDaniel – will create "a problem for Republicans going forward."

"First, we're not a cult. We're not like, 'Okay, there's one person who leads our party,'" Cassidy said. "We are not going to have one person anointed unless she or he happens to be a sitting president. We should have a set of principles and ideas and legislative accomplishments that is our lodestar, if you will. That's where we need to go."

Cassidy added that Republicans need to "explain to the American voter why Republicans have a better vision for the future of our country" following disappointing midterm results for a GOP that was banking on a red wave.


Much of the criticism has been aimed at former President Donald Trump after several of his hand-selected candidates lost their races. Trump himself is expected to announce his candidacy for president on November 15.

On "Meet the Press," Todd asked Cassidy whether he would support Trump as the GOP nominee in 2024 or whether he would cheer for a new candidate, such as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

"Who is our next nominee will sort itself out," Cassiday said. "I think our next candidate will be looking to the future, not to the past, and I think our next candidate will win. And so I anticipate supporting a candidate who's looking to the future."

When Todd pressed Cassidy about supporting Trump specifically, the senator said it was a "theoretical which actually I don't think will come to transpire because we have to be looking to the future."

"I will say we should be a party of ideas and principles. I welcome that," Cassidy said. "And I think our next candidate will similarly embody that perspective."