Indiana Sen. Todd Young strongly rebuked Donald Trump Thursday, telling reporters in Washington D.C. that he won’t support his fellow Republican in his 2024 run for the GOP presidential nomination.
When asked why, according to several tweets, Young said, “Where do I begin?”
Young named at least one factor in the brief exchange: Trump’s failure to vocalize his support for Ukraine in the yearlong conflict following the Russian invasion.
“I think President Trump’s judgment is wrong in this case. (Russian) President (Vladimir) Putin and his government have been engaged in war crimes … That’s why I don’t intend to support him for the Republican nomination,” Young said, according to video tweeted by CNN reporter Manu Raju.
In a CNN Town Hall on Wednesday night, moderator Kaitlan Collins asked Trump about whether Ukraine should win the war, Trump said, he didn’t “think in terms of winning or losing.”
“I want everybody to stop dying,” Trump said.
He declined to support Ukraine explicitly and pushed back against calling Putin a “war criminal.”
In a separate Twitter thread, HuffPost reporter Igor Bobic shared more from Young, who said he didn’t believe Trump could unite people.
“You want a nominee to win the general election. As President Trump says, I prefer winners. He just consistently loses. In fact, he has a habit of losing not just his own elections, but losing elections for others,” Young said. “… I don’t think conservatives would be well-served by electing someone whose core competency seems to be owning someone on Twitter.”
Young sidestepped a direct question about whether he’d support Trump in the general election if he won the nomination, saying he didn’t think he’d win. He added, “Republicans are in a winning mood. We want to win. We know he’s the shortest path to losing.”
Young was just re-elected in 2022 to a six-year term. He has broken with Trump on several key issues, including the president’s desire for then-Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the 2020 election results.
Politico noted that Young was one of only four Senate GOP incumbents that Trump didn’t endorse for re-election.
Sen. Mike Braun, who will not run for re-election in 2024, declined to respond to Young’s Thursday comments, but his office pointed to recent remarks made following April’s NRA convention indicating Braun’s full support for the former president.
“It’s not that difficult,” Braun told Fox News Digital on April 22. “… I think when it comes to that candidate that can portray what was working so well pre-COVID, we know who that was. It was President Trump.”
Braun opted to run for Indiana’s open gubernatorial seat in 2024, freeing up his post for Congressman Jim Banks, a long-time and enthusiastic supporter of Trump who reiterated his approval for Trump as recently as April 20.
Banks currently faces opposition in neither the primary nor the general election.
Trump appeared on CNN Wednesday as a candidate for the Republican nomination for president in the 2024 election. Other declared candidates for the nomination include: former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, Ryan Binkley, Larry Elder, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Perry Johnson and Vivek Ramaswamy.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is also rumored to be considering a run for the Republican nomination.