William Cohen, a former Republican senator from Maine and Defense secretary under former President Clinton, blasted GOP lawmakers challenging the results of the 2020 presidential election in a Thursday interview in which he suggested the formation of a new political party.
Cohen made the comments on CNN’s “The Situation Room” while discussing Sen. Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyGOP lawmaker criticizes Trump, colleagues for ‘trying to discredit’ the election Pence role is limited in electoral vote count Hawley jams GOP with Electoral College fight MORE’s (R-Mo.) plans to object during Congress’s counting of the Electoral College vote on Wednesday. Cohen called Hawley’s actions “shameful” but warned that Republicans are just following President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump hotel in DC raises room rates for Biden inauguration GOP lawmaker criticizes Trump, colleagues for ‘trying to discredit’ the election Video shows long lines on last day of early voting in Georgia MORE’s lead, calling him the party’s “ringmaster.”
“We have to remember that the current occupant of the White House is a ringmaster and what he expects to do is snap his whip and all the elephants hop up on chairs,” Cohen said. “What they have to understand is he is going to continue to snap the whip whether he’s in office or out of office. And every time they’re going to have to jump up and sit on that stool to satisfy him and his supporters.”
“Maybe it’s time for a new party. One that abides by the rule of law… but also faithful to the people of this country, who vote to elect them.” – Former GOP Sen. William Cohen on some Republicans expecting to challenge Joe BidenJoe BidenBidens honor frontline workers in NYE address: ‘We owe them, we owe them, we owe them’ Trump hotel in DC raises room rates for Biden inauguration Video shows long lines on last day of early voting in Georgia MORE’s victory https://t.co/mp6259iu3B pic.twitter.com/ePa1GtBE89
— The Situation Room (@CNNSitRoom) January 1, 2021
“He is always going to up the ante, he cannot be satisfied. There’s nothing in him. There’s no moral core, and so they are going to be extorted or bribed in order to avoid a primary in 2022 or 2024,” Cohen continued.
Discussing the future of the Republican Party, Cohen noted a clear divide among GOP lawmakers, saying more centrist Republicans such as Sens. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyTrump’s push for K stimulus checks hits dead end in Senate The Memo: Toxic divide grew deeper in 2020 Bipartisan lawmakers urge Trump to either sign or immediately veto coronavirus relief bill MORE (Utah) and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsHawley jams GOP with Electoral College fight Trump’s push for K stimulus checks hits dead end in Senate Senate poised to override Trump’s defense bill veto MORE (Maine) are very different from Trump allies. He asked: Where are the lawmakers “standing up for the rule of law?”
“For Trump it is pathological, for those who are jumping up to support him, it’s diabolical and I don’t think it’s diabolically clever. I think they will find they will be hostage for the rest of their time in the Senate and going forward if they are only there to appease the Trumpsters,” he said.
“Maybe it’s time for a new party. One that abides by the rule of law,” Cohen concluded. “But also faithful to the people of this country, who vote to elect them.”
Cohen’s New Year’s Eve comments come just days before Congress’s counting of the Electoral College vote. Rep. Adam KinzingerAdam Daniel KinzingerGOP lawmaker criticizes Trump, colleagues for ‘trying to discredit’ the election GOP lawmaker thinks 100 Republicans could challenge Electoral College results Sunday shows – Trump’s COVID-19 relief bill opposition dominates MORE (R-Ill.) said Wednesday he thinks as many as 100 Republicans could challenge the results.
The move is considered a long-shot bid to overturn the election, but more Republican lawmakers have come out in support of the effort.