Retired Rep Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio) predicted how Donald Trump it could lay the groundwork for stealing the 2024 election, calling the former president a “huge political loser” who has led the GOP “into a ditch.”
“It seems to me… that he evaluated what went wrong on January 6th. Why didn’t he manage to steal the election? Who got in his way? ”Gonzalez, one of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for inciting a riot on the Capitol, told CNN’s Jake Tapper in State of the Union on Sunday.
“Every single American institution is simply run by people. And you need the right people to make the right decision in the toughest moments. He’s systematically crossing the country and trying to remove those people and install people who will do exactly what he wants them to do, who believe the “big lie”, who will accept whatever he says. “
Since last year’s vote, Trump’s persistent disinformation campaign for “stolen elections” has been accompanied by GOP-led changes in the voting laws of states across the country. In several states in the balance, pro-Trump conspiracy theorists they are running for key positions in electoral administration, potentially paving the way for Trump to succeed where he failed after the 2020 election.
If Trump were to run again in 2024 and lose, Gonzalez said, he was worried that Trump would try to steal the election again, but “with his people in those positions.”
Reflecting on the January 6 uprising, the lawmaker said it was no surprise that there had been violence, as members of Congress did things like compare the attempt to overturn the election results with the American Revolution, possibly referring to representative Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), who tweeted “Today is 1776” the day of the revolt.
Gonzalez announced in September that he will not seek re-election, citing the desire for more family time and “toxic dynamics” within the GOP as the main factors that led to his decision.
“1 under, 9 to go,” Trump said in a statement following Gonzalez’s announcement. Last month, Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) Became the second Republican who voted to impeach Trump into making the same decision. All 10 have suffered the backlash of Trump and some GOP colleagues.
Asked by Tapper for his message to Republican voters and leaders, Gonzalez urged them to “keep the faith.”
“The country can survive on bad politics,” he said, criticizing President Joe Biden. “The country cannot survive by burning the Constitution. We have to stick to the Constitution. This must be the basis on which to build our party and our movement.
“We must be a party of ideas. We must be a party of truth. And the cold hard truth is that Donald Trump took us to a ditch on January 6th. The former president lied to us. He lied to each of us. “
If Trump were to run again in 2024, Gonzalez said he would do everything possible to stop him from winning, except voting for the Democrats.
“Jan. 6 was an unconstitutional attempt by the president of the United States to overturn an American election and illegally re-establish himself in power. That is fall nation territory. This is the territory of a third world country,” he said. “My family left Cuba to avoid that fate. I will not let that happen here. Can I stop them? I have no idea. But I believe as a citizen of this country who loves this country and respects the Constitution. This is my responsibility. “