Sep 18, 2022 - Politics & Policy

GOP Senate candidate says he doesn't want to see Trump run again

Joe O'Dea, the GOP nominee for Colorado's U.S. Senate race, speaking in Denver in June 2022.

Joe O'Dea, the GOP nominee in Colorado's U.S. Senate race, speaking in Denver in June. Photo: Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post

Joe O'Dea, the Republican nominee challenging Michael Bennet (D) in Colorado's U.S. Senate race, told NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday that he doesn't want to see former President Trump run again in 2024.

Why it matters: It's a rare critique of Trump from a fellow Republican, though first-time candidate O'Dea has cast himself as a moderate to help win over centrists to take the seat in Colorado.

  • The Cook Political Report has the race as leaning Democratic in Bennet's favor.

What they're saying: O'Dea criticized Trump for recently saying he would pardon people who have been charged and sentenced over their participation in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot if he got a second term in the White House.

  • "Look, I disagree with our former president. I wouldn't give pardons to anybody that's violent. We need to hold people accountable. That should never happen again," O'Dea said.
  • "I'm the only Senate candidate for the Republican Party that hasn't been endorsed by Donald Trump. Probably not going to send me a Christmas card. I don't want to see him run again. I don't want to see Joe Biden run again. I think that tears our country apart, and I think I'm where most Americans are."

The big picture: Separately, Geoffrey Berman, former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, told "Meet the Press" on Sunday that he does not want to see Trump as president again either.

  • "I shudder to think about it. The prospect of a second Trump administration frightens me," said Berman, a Republican who was appointed to the U.S. attorney post by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
  • "All of the dangerous and outrageous things he did as president would be repeated if there's a second administration, except this time he's going to be more successful in doing them."
  • "And remember, when he was president, he always knew he had to stand for reelection. If there's a second administration, he'll be free of those concerns."

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