Senator Pat Toomey will speak to CNBC at the Ambrosetti Forum in Italy on September 3, 2021.

Mike Green | CNBC

Senator Pat Toomey has urged his party not to nominate former President Donald Trump as a presidential candidate in 2024 and described his behavior after the 2020 elections as “totally unacceptable”.

The Pennsylvania Republican voted to impeach Trump for his role in fueling the January 6 attack on the Capitol by his supporters.

Speaking to CNBC at the Ambrosetti Forum in Italy on Friday, Toomey, who does not intend to seek re-election in 2022, suggested that his party consider additional presidential candidates in 2024.

“I think the future of our party is to be a party of ideas, not a party about a single person, and I think we will learn a lot from the next primaries,” he said.

“I think after what happened after the 2020 elections, I think the president’s behavior was completely unacceptable, so I don’t think he should be the candidate for the party leadership in 2024.”

Despite his staunch conservative track record of a two-decade long Congress career, Toomey has broken away from the unwavering allegiance to the former president that now serves as the litmus test in the GOP. Pennsylvania’s Republican Party narrowly voted against officially reprimanding Toomey for his vote in condemnation of Trump in March, issuing a “strong reprimand” instead.

“I’m a Conservative Republican in every objective way when I look at the election results by comparing my views with those of a traditional Conservative Republican,” Toomey told CNBC Steve Sedgwick.

“It is President Trump who has deviated from Republican and Conservative orthodoxy in various ways. I stuck to the conservative views I’ve had for a long time, he had a different view on issues like trade and sometimes immigration.” And other things.”

Trump’s loyalty and a dispute over the investigation into the deadly storming of the Capitol have become focal points in a battle for the soul of the Republican Party in recent months.

The right-wing House Freedom Caucus has launched a print campaign urging House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to expel Reps Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger from the Republican conference for agreeing to stand on the Capitol Special Committee on Dec. January to work with.

The former president still has significant power over the GOP, with loyal candidates aiming to oust incumbent and established Republicans in regional primaries across the country, while Trump continues to spread lies about the theft of the 2020 elections.

Toomey also criticized Trump’s agreement with the Taliban to completely withdraw US forces from Afghanistan.

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“I think we were at a point and we could have maintained a very modest presence on the ground, an extremely low casualty rate, and we had not had a death in Afghanistan for well over a year, and at a modest financial cost . ” ,” he said.

“For this price we would have supported the Afghans, who were actually the spearheads who fight, and could have prevented the reappearance of terrorists from a state controlled by the Taliban.”