(DCWatchdog.com) – In a move that has outraged former President Donald Trump and Trump’s supporters, Republican US Senator Todd Young of Indiana announced he will not endorse Trump in the 2024 presidential election.
In his second term in the US Senate after getting reelected in the 2022 midterm election, Young is a former close ally of Trump, including in his former capacity as chief of the Senate Republicans’ campaign arm.
The Indiana senator’s announcement marks “a significant change that comes the morning after a televised town hall with the ex-president,” The Washington Examiner comments in a report.
Young, a military veteran who has served in the US Navy and Marine Corps, indicated that Trump’s remarks regarding the war that Putin’s Russia had been waging on Ukraine were “among the leading factors” to decide not to support the former president.
“I don’t intend to support him for the Republican nomination,” the GOP US senator from Indiana told reporters.
“Where do I begin?” he asked when pressed to explain why.
“I think President Trump’s judgment is wrong in this case. President Putin and his government have engaged in war crimes. I don’t believe that’s disputed,” added Young, who serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
His announcement came after Trump spoke in a 70-minute town hall meeting on CNN on Wednesday evening.
The former US president refused to qualify Russian leader Vladimir Putin as a war criminal – even though the latter is being wanted as a war criminal by the International Criminal Court for the mass-scale abduction of thousands of Ukrainian children.
Trump described Putin as a “smart guy” who “made a tremendous mistake.”
“If you say he’s a war criminal, it’s going to be a lot tougher to make a deal to make this thing stopped. If he’s going to be a war criminal, people are going to grab him and execute him, he’s going to fight a lot harder than he’s fighting under the other circumstance,” he argued.
Trump also refused to forecast whether the aggressor or the victim would win the war. He only told the New Hampshire Republican primary voters attending the rally he wanted “everybody to stop dying.”
The former president reiterated his claim that he would end Moscow’s war against Ukraine “in 24 hours” if reelected to the White House.
At least nine Republican US senators have endorsed Trump for reelection. Senator Todd Young’s relations with the former president worsened after the January 6, 2021, events at the US Capitol as he thought Trump bore responsibility.
“You want a nominee to win the general election. As President Trump says, ‘I prefer winners.’ He consistently loses. In fact, he has a habit of losing not just his own elections, but losing elections for others,” the Indiana senator told reporters.
“I can’t think of someone worse equipped to bring people together and get our legislation passed and advance our collective values than the former president. I don’t think conservatives would be well served by electing someone whose core competency seems to be owning someone on Twitter,” Young argued.
Do you agree or disagree with Young’s criticism of Trump? Share your opinion by emailing [email protected].
Republican Sen. Todd Young says he won’t back Trump for president: ‘Where do I begin?’https://t.co/Jh762NtQRG pic.twitter.com/KdtyVtIvFn
— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) May 11, 2023