Saturday, July 20, 2024

Trump-aligned Lisa Murkowski won't rule out leaving the GOP

Al Drago/Bloomberg/Getty Images

During a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing in Washington, DC in September 2023, Sen. Lisa Murkowski speaks.

Sen. Hear more of Lisa Murkowski's programs on “Sunday in Politics with Manu Raju” at 8 a.m. ET and 11 a.m. ET.


Senior Alaska Republican, one Seven Republicans voted to convict Trump His second impeachment hearing after January 6, 2021 ended with the former president saying he would “absolutely” not vote for him.

“As Republicans, I want us to have a candidate,” Murkowski told CNN. “I certainly can't get behind Donald Trump.”

The party switch toward Trump has Murkowski considering her future within the GOP. In the interview, he did not say whether he would remain a Republican.

Asked if she would become independent, Murkowski said: “Oh, I think I'm very independent-minded.” And he added: “I regret that our party is becoming the party of Donald Trump.”

Pressed on whether he could become an independent, Murkowski said: “I'm going through very interesting political times. Let's just leave it at that.”

Murkowski was never an outsider within his party. Appointed in 2002 by his father, Gov. Frank Murkowski, the senator's politics aligned with the president at the time—George W. Bush – He maintained a close relationship with Ted Stevens, the veteran GOP senator from his state. He returned home to build Alaska with federal dollars.

Later he criticized his father, Sen. She clashed with then-Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, John McCain's running mate. As the Tea Party rose in 2010, Murkowski found herself at odds with the insurgent right wing of her party. He lost a primary to Republican Joe Miller in 2010, then retained his seat in the general election after becoming only the second candidate to win a write-in campaign for the Senate.

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She was targeted by Trump and his allies in 2022 after voting to impeach Trump in 2021, voting against Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court in 2018, and supporting Ketanji Brown Jackson in 2022. Backed by Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell and his high-spending team.

In the 2024 cycle, Murkowski — along with Republican Sen. Susan Collins — made a late endorsement for former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley just days before she dropped out of the race.

Now, it's clear that Murkowski is ready to move past Trump. Asked about Trump's recent comments about Jewish people voting for Democrats “Hate” their religion.Murkowski called it an “incredibly inaccurate and egregious statement.”

Murkowski pushed back last week when asked about Trump's other controversial rhetoric, such as that he considers the Jan. 6 detainees “hostages” and “patriots” who should be pardoned.

“I don't think it can be defended,” Murkowski said. “What happened on January 6 was… an attempt by people who besieged the building to stop the election certificate. It cannot be protected. ”

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