Senior Texas Republican John Cornyn Shuns Trump 2024 Run

The ex-president’s "time has passed," he said.


Republican Texas Sen. John Cornyn said Thursday that former President Donald Trump doesn't have what it takes to win another term in the White House and said the GOP needed "to come up with an alternative."

“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," Cornyn said, according to The Dallas Morning News.

During a conference call with Lone Star State reporters, 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."

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas)
Win McNamee/Getty Images

"There’s no question that President Trump has some enthusiastic supporters as part of his base," he said.

"That works well for him in a Republican primary, but not well when you need to expand your appeal in a general election."

When asked about Trump's controversial performance during last week's CNN town hall, Cornyn said, "We need to come up with an alternative."

Cornyn, a former Texas attorney general who's serving his fourth term in the Senate, added: "To me, this all boils down to electability. I’ve been through quite a few elections in my life. And there’s no prize for coming in second. In other words, losing."

“Unless you can win an election, you don’t get to govern your priorities," he said.

The remarks, which made Cornyn the most prominent Texas Republican to break ranks with Trump, were far stronger than what he told CNN last week.

Then, he said Trump had "a unique ability to rally his base, but not to grow beyond his base, which is a problem," adding that he was "happy to let the process play out."

But on Thursday, Cornyn said he was eager to see someone other than Trump win the GOP nomination, without naming a favorite among the declared and potential contenders.

“I know several of them and they are friends,” he said. “If they can win, I’ll be happy to support them.”

Cornyn said Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has "been very successful" in the Sunshine State, where he won a landslide reelection over former Gov. Charlie Christ in November, 59.4% to 40%.

The results showed DeSantis, who's reportedly planning to join the presidential race, has the ability to win crossover votes, Cornyn said.

“DeSantis has shown he can. Nikki Haley has shown that she can. Tim Scott has shown he can,” Cornyn said.

Both Haley, a former South Carolina governor, and Scott, the state's junior senator, are seeking the GOP nomination.

“That’s an important lesson to learn from 2020, that you’ve got to do more than just turn out your enthusiastic base of support,” Cornyn said.

“I just want to win and we need a candidate who can win.”

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