Former President Donald Trump tore into outgoing Ohio Republican Rep. Anthony Gonzalez on Friday morning, after the lawmaker announced he wouldn’t be seeking re-election with an outgoing message where he called Trump a ‘cancer’ and denounced ‘toxic dynamics within my own party.’
Trump accused Gonzalez of being a ‘Republican in name only’ and reiterated his support for his own former aide’s 2022 primary bid for the seat in an impassioned statement sent by Trump’s Save America PAC.
‘Good riddance to Anthony, he can now get himself a job at ratings-dead CNN or MSDNC!’ the ex-president said.
Gonzalez was once a top recruit for the House GOP, but he quickly fell from favor after being one of 10 Republican lawmakers who voted to impeach Trump following the Capitol riot.
He was censured by the Ohio Republican Party as a result.
‘RINO Congressman Anthony Gonzalez, who has poorly represented his district in the Great State of Ohio, has decided to quit after enduring a tremendous loss of popularity, of which he had little, since his ill-informed and otherwise very stupid impeachment vote against the sitting President of the United States, me,’ Trump said Friday.
Ohio Republican Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, who voted to impeach Donald Trump, revealed he won’t be seeking reelection in 2022. He called Trump a ‘cancer’ for the country
Gonzalez has faced a brutal primary against the former president’s protégé, Max Miller, who was accused of a pattern of aggressive behavior that includes allegedly slapping ex-girlfriend and former Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham.
The lawmaker’s step back from politics is ‘no loss,’ Trump said.
‘This is no loss for Ohio or our Country and, most importantly, we have a great candidate who was substantially leading Gonzalez in the polls, Max Miller, who I have given my Complete and Total Endorsement,’ Trump’s statement read.
‘Max is a tremendous person who will represent Ohio well.’
Gonzalez announced his retirement on Thursday with another denunciation of the president he once sought to boost, calling him ‘a cancer for the country.’
He cited family reasons – he has two young children – but told the New York Times the need for extra security for himself caused a rethinking of his future.
Trump celebrated Rep. Gonzalez’s decision to not seek re-election by mocking him in a Friday morning statement
‘That’s one of those moments where you say, ‘Is this really what I want for my family when they travel, to have my wife and kids escorted through the airport?’ he told the paper.
But he also cited the ‘toxic dynamics within my own party’ in a statement he tweeted out, calling it a ‘significant’ part of his decision.
Each of the 10 defectors must contend with pro-Trump constituents in 2022, and Gonzalez, 36, faced a unique challenge in a conservative district running against former Trump campaign and White House aide Miller, 32.
He called the political environment toxic, ‘especially in our own party right now.’ He represents the state’s 16th Congressional District.
The Ohio Republican denounced ‘toxic dynamics within my own party’ in his announcement
‘You can fight your butt off and win this thing, but are you really going to be happy? And the answer is, probably not.’ He called Trump a threat to democracy adding: ‘I don’t believe he can ever be president again,’ Mr. Gonzalez said. ‘Most of my political energy will be spent working on that exact goal.’
Trump has given a series of signals he is considering a run in 2024.
On Thursday, the day he revealed he won’t seek reelection, Trump issued a statement siding with some of the people charged with breaching the Capitol on the day Congress met to count the electoral votes.
‘Our hearts and minds are with the people being persecuted so unfairly relating to the January 6th protest concerning the Rigged Presidential Election,’ Trump wrote, although electoral challenges by his allies were thrown out of court.
Authorities reinstalled a fence around the Capitol in anticipation of a rally Saturday in defense of those charged in connection with Jan. 6th.
The former Ohio State wide receiver received his MBA at Stanford.