Arizona state House Speaker Rusty Bowers (R) on Sunday said he’ll never vote for former President Trump again, a reversal of earlier claims that he’d back Trump in a match-up against President Biden.
“I’ll never vote for him, but I won’t have to. Because I think America’s tired and there’s some absolutely forceful, qualified, morally defensible and upright people, and that’s what I want. That’s what I want in my party and that’s what I want to see,” Bowers told moderator Jonathan Karl during an interview on ABC’s “This Week.”
The Arizona lawmaker called Trump a “demagogue” who maintains hold on his base through “thuggery and intimidation.”
“I have thought, at times, someone born how he was, raised how he was — he has no idea what a hard life is. And what people have to go through in real—in the real world. He has no idea what courage is,” Bowers said.
Bowers’s comments were a reversal of his remarks in June, when he said he’d support the former president in a rematch of the 2020 election.
“If he is the nominee, if he was up against Biden, I’d vote for him again. Simply because what he did the first time, before COVID, was so good for the county. In my view it was,” Bowers told The Associated Press before testifying in June to the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attacks on the US Capitol.
Testifying before the House panel, Bowers rejected the former president’s claims that the two men had discussed a rigged 2020 presidential election in Arizona.
Bowers said members of his party called him a “traitor” after his appearance before the committee. Trump lambasted the lawmaker as a “coward.”
Bowers on Sunday said he hoped Trump would never return to a position of power.
“I would certainly hope not. I certainly don’t trust that authority that he would exercise.”
Bowers is running for Arizona’s state Senate in this year’s midterms, and Trump has endorsed his challenger, David Farnsworth.