If you needed more proof that the Republican Party is now Donald Trump’s party, a long-serving GOP senator gave us more on Monday.
Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri announced he’s calling it a career after his current term expires, making him the fifth RINO who is leaving the Senate in 2022.
The Daily Caller notes:
Blunt, who is a member of Republican leadership and serves as the ranking Republican member of the Senate Rules Committee, released a video explaining he would not be seeking reelection, making him the latest Republican to announce he is not running. Blunt was elected to the Senate in 2010.
“After 14 general election victories, three to county office, seven to the United States House of Representatives, and four statewide elections, I won’t be a candidate for reelection to the United States Senate next year,” he said in a video.
“In every job Missourians have allowed me to have, I’ve tried to do my best. In almost 12,000 votes in the Congress, I’m sure I wasn’t right every time, but you really make that decision based on the information you have at the time,” he added.
The unexpected announcement marks the latest decision not to seek reelection by a pragmatic GOP senator willing to reach across the aisle in the post-Trump era as the Republican Party grapples with its future.
GOP Sens. Rob Portman of Ohio, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Richard Shelby of Alabama and Richard Burr of North Carolina have all indicated they do not intend to run for reelection. So far, no Senate Democrats up for reelection in 2022 have announced plans to retire.
Though Blunt is entrenched in GOP leadership, he did have his conservative bona fides and did not vote to convict President Trump in either of his impeachment trials.
“I said before this trial started that I believe the constitutional purpose for presidential impeachment is to remove a president from office, not to punish a person after they have left office. None of the arguments presented changed my view that this was an unconstitutional proceeding. Impeachment is not a tool that should be used to settle political scores against a private citizen,” the Missourian said in February.
He also rejected the gargantuan $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill that provides a little COVID relief to ordinary Americans but a LOT of ‘relief’ to cash-strapped blue states and cities whose Democratic leaders have run deficits for years.
“This massive spending bill, and the partisan process by which it was passed, fails the American people. Last year, we worked together – Democrats and Republicans, House and Senate – to pass five bipartisan COVID-19 relief packages to fund the economic and health response to the pandemic. Instead of building on that successful pattern, Democrats rammed through a bill filled with untimely spending and misplaced priorities,” he said.
As for Blunt’s seat, it’s likely going to go to another Republican — and most likely one in Trump’s mold.
Trump won the state handily with 57 percent of the vote last fall, and its most recent senator, Josh Hawley, beat incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill by 6 points in 2018, as the state has trended more red in recent years.
But again, underneath it all, Blunt was a GOP ‘company man,’ and as he and the others leave Congress, Republican Party becomes more Trumpian, which is a very good thing.