Trump slams Colorado Republican Senate candidate after Joe O’Dea says he wouldn’t back him for president |

Trump slams Colorado Republican Senate candidate after Joe O’Dea says he wouldn’t back him for president

Nick Coltrain
Denver Post
This combination of photos shows former President Donald Trump at a rally in Minden, Nev., Oct. 8, 2022, left, and Joe O’Dea, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, speaking on June 28, 2022, in Denver.
Associated Press/File photos

The day after Republican U.S. Senate nominee Joe O’Dea said he’d “actively campaign against” Donald Trump in the 2024 presidential race, Trump lashed out at the candidate as a “RINO,” or Republican in name only.

O’Dea has frequently said he hopes the former president doesn’t seek the Republican nomination again, usually arguing that another Trump candidacy would be too divisive. But he doesn’t usually say he’d actively fight a Trump 2024 campaign. O’Dea named Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former U.N. ambassador and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and U.S. Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina as Republicans he’d like to see run for president.

“I’m going to do my job as a U.S. senator to make sure that they have good campaigns in the primary here to make sure that we have a good selection of candidates here in 2024,” O’Dea told CNN’s Dana Bash. None of the politicians O’Dea named have officially declared their candidacy for the White House, though they are widely rumored to be eying a run. Haley has endorsed O’Dea and Scott recently campaigned for him here.

On Monday morning, Trump posted on Truth Social that O’Dea is “this RINO character in the Great State of Colorado … who is having a good old time saying that he wants to ‘distance’ himself from President Trump, and other slightly nasty things.” Trump then highlighted his efforts as president on the economy, energy, and the war on the Islamic State and the border.

O’Dea is challenging incumbent Democrat Sen. Michael Bennet for the seat. In a statement, O’Dea said this election should be about President “Joe Biden’s failures” — he cited inflation, crime, energy policy and the border — and “not a rehash of 2020.” But he reiterated that he’d prefer other candidates.

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