Republican Sen. Pat Toomey said President Donald Trump has “descended into a level of madness” since the November election — drawing a distinction between his previous support of the president and his anger over the deadly riots of Trump supporters who descended on Capitol Hill last week.
“I don’t think there’s any doubt at all, there’s none in my mind, that the president’s behavior after the election was wildly different than his behavior before,” said the Pennsylvania Republican on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday. “He descended into a level of madness and engaged in activity that was absolutely unthinkable and unforgivable.”
Toomey — who is set to retire from the Senate in 2022 — was asked by CNN host Jake Tapper whether he regretted not doing more “to stop someone who you’re now calling a demagogue, who has pretty obviously been a demagogue for his entire political career,” Tapper said, citing the deadly attack in Charlottesville, Va., earlier in Trump’s presidency and his previous embrace of conspiracy theorists.
“For four years, he often put out offensive and objectionable tweets, actually sometimes dozens a day,” Toomey responded. “I never felt, and I still don’t think, my job was to be the editor of his Twitter feed, although I was very often critical. But this raises the question of why did 75 million people vote for this man whose character flaws were always very apparent? Seventy-five million Americans are not stupid. They’re not evil.”
Toomey said voters “looked at a choice that we had: Between a ever-more radicalized left wing Democratic Party and a man who is very, very flawed, but with whom we actually have very substantive success in the early parts of his administration,” including a strong economy and peace agreements in the Middle East.
But the senator described the events of last week as “orders of magnitude more egregious than anything we have ever seen from Donald Trump before.” Pro-Donald Trump rioters stormed the Capitol on Wednesday, forcing lawmakers, staff and reporters to shelter in place, and throwing the Capitol into deadly chaos. Five people died.
Toomey has already said Trump has “committed impeachable offenses” by inciting the deadly riot, and on Sunday he reiterated that Trump should resign — echoing his Republican colleague, Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski.
“I think at this point, with just a few days left, it’s the best path forward, the best way to get this person in the rear-view mirror for us — that could happen immediately,” he said. “I’m not optimistic it will. But I do think that would be the best way forward.”
Toomey similarly said on NBC News’ “Meet the Press” on Sunday that the best path forward for the country would be for the president to resign and “go away as soon as possible,” though he again acknowledged that would be unlikely.
Toomey also said Sunday that the president’s actions have disqualified him from running for office again.
“I don’t think he is electable in any way. And I don’t think he’s going to be exercising anything like the kind of influence that he has had over the Republican Party going forward,” he said on CNN.