Tom Cotton blows off notion Trump has taken over GOP
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) on Sunday dismissed the argument former President Trump has taken over the GOP following speculation Senate Republicans sunk last week’s border security bill at the direction of the former president.
In an interview with “Fox News Sunday” host Shannon Bream, Cotton was pressed over the notion that Trump wants to use the U.S. southern border issue to campaign against President Biden.
Asked if Trump has taken away his autonomy as a senator, Cotton said, “No Shannon. What President Trump saw about this bill is what most Arkansans saw about it, what all but four Republican senators saw is that it does not solve the problem.”
“Yes, it had some positive reforms, but in the end, by institutionalizing and codifying a lot of President Biden’s abuses over the last three years, it would allow this flow of migrants to continue,” Cotton added.
Bream had pointed to an analyst’s recent comments to POLITICO that argued the former president has a “stronghold” over the Republican Party, as demonstrated by the collapsed border bill, the speculated resignation of Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel — whom Trump has expressed dissatisfaction about — and Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley’s loss in last week’s Nevada primary, where she finished behind “none of these candidates.”
A motion to proceed on the long-sought border security package failed last week by a vote of 49-50 after weeks of negotiations between both sides of the aisle, with the majority of the GOP conference in the Senate voting against advancing it.
The bill was part of a larger emergency foreign aid package for Ukraine and Israel’s war efforts and Indo-Pacific security after Senate Republicans repeatedly insisted any aid to Ukraine must be linked with border security reform.
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), one of the four Republican senators who voted in favor of advancing the bill, has been a leading voice about Trump’s influence in the GOP conference regarding the bill. Late last month, Romney called it “appalling” that Trump pushed for Republican lawmakers to oppose the border bill to use it against Biden.
Cotton, who has endorsed Trump’s 2024 presidential bid, contended the way to curb the migrant crisis is by electing the former president in November.
“What I want to do, what most Republican senators want to do, what President Trump wants to do, is stop the border crisis and now we can see with Joe Biden ideologically investing in open border, but [the] way to stop that crisis is to elect President Trump this fall. He did it once, he can do it again,” Cotton said.