Former GOP Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole: ‘I’m Trumped Out’

Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole was the only former Republican presidential nominee to openly support Donald Trump. Last year, he even spoke out in support of Trump’s paranoia that the Presidential Commission on Debates was trying to stack the deck against him. But when it comes to the 2020 Presidential Election, Dole is pragmatic about the end results, if personally disappointed at both the outcome and Trump’s behavior in the subsequent months.

Dole has held many of the jobs that matter in Washington politics. He was a member of the House and chair of the Republican National Committee. A senator and, ultimately, the majority leader. A nominee for vice president (as Gerald Ford’s running mate in 1976) and, after his third bid for the top job, the nominee for president, in 1996.

In a new interview with USA TODAY, Dole, now 98 and suffering from advanced lung cancer, had no patience for Trump’s “Big Lie” that the election had been stolen from him. “He lost the election, and I regret that he did, but they did,” said Dole. “He had Rudy Giuliani running all over the country, claiming fraud. He never had one bit of fraud in all those lawsuits he filed and statements he made.” He freely said that “I’m a Trumper” — but added that, “I’m sort of Trumped out, though.”

Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election ended in dismal failure, with dozens of lawsuits being thrown out in court and even by judges he appointed. Republicans in state legislatures have subsequently sought to conduct partisan audits and pass laws restricting the vote. And although only 34% of all voters approved of the job Trump was doing in Gallup’s final poll of his presidency in early 2021, more than 8 in 10 self-identified Republicans (82%) said they approved — a massive disconnect that makes clear that even if Trump is disliked in the country at large, he remains a hero to a large swath of the Republican base.

Read the full interview with Bob Dole here.

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