Senator John Cornyn of Texas said the Republican Party should reject Donald Trump as the 2024 presidential nominee, citing concerns that he will not be able to claim victory in a general election.
“We need to come up with an alternative,” he told The Dallas Morning News on Thursday. “I think President Trump’s time has passed him by and what’s the most important thing to me is we have a candidate who can actually win.”
“To me, this all boils down to electability,” he continued. “I’ve been through quite a few elections in my life, and there’s no prize coming in second — in other words, losing.”
Polling has shown Trump is still the favored nominee for Republican voters as he maintains a strong lead against his most popular potential challenger, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
Desantis is expected to announce his candidacy next week.
“Unless you can win an election, you don’t get to govern your priorities,” Cornyn said. “I don’t think President Trump understands that when you run in a general election, you have to appeal to voters beyond your base.”
“There’s no question that President Trump has some enthusiastic supporters as part of his base,” the senator continued. “That works well for him in a Republican primary, but not well when you need to expand your appeal in a general election.”
As reported by The Dallas Express, Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) filed paperwork on Friday with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) indicating he plans to enter the primary race against Trump.
While Cornyn questioned the electability of the former president, he did not say who his preferred nominee might be.
Steven Cheung, a spokesperson for the Trump campaign, responded to Cornyn by lambasting him as an enemy of the American people and “part of the deep state rotting throughout the government,” per The Dallas Morning News.
“President Trump has fought against Democrats, the liberal media, and even the establishment forces in his own party,” Cheung said. “But make no mistake, President Trump is the undisputed leader of the party and people like John Cornyn and Mitch McConnell are doing everything they can to cling on to power because they are the problem.”
Cheung accused Cornyn of supporting “endless wars, countless lives lost, [and] selling out American workers to China.”
Dallas Young Republicans senior advisor Roger Shafer sent a statement to The Dallas Express similarly critical of Cornyn’s comments.
“It would be nice if Senator Cornyn believed in supporting agendas his constituents want or American democracy as a whole,” he said. “His support of amnesty, open borders, gun control, a blank check for Ukraine, or opposition to a candidate the overwhelming majority of GOP voters want will make it very difficult for him to win his senate primary in 2026.”
“I would ask him if not President Trump then who? Because I’ve been looking, and I find all are lacking,” he continued. “I would tell Senator Cornyn he should spend less time in the Beltway, in fundraising dinners, and abroad, and maybe a little more time with real Texans.”