Moderate GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski has been very vocal for years that she’s no fan of Donald Trump’s takeover of the Republican Party.
But the lawmaker from Alaska made it clear on Friday that she has “absolutely no desire” to leave the GOP and join Senate Democrats.
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And Murkowski, speaking with reporters on Capitol Hill, acknowledged that she didn’t vote for Trump in November’s presidential election, saying “I wrote someone in.”
After the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol by right wing extremists and other Trump supporters which was seemingly encouraged hours earlier by the president, Murkowski called on Trump to resign. And she questioned whether she had a future in the GOP.
“I will tell you, if the Republican Party has become nothing more than the party of Trump, I sincerely question whether this is the party for me,” she said in an interview two weeks ago.
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Fast forward two weeks and Murkowski said on Friday that she remains committed to staying in the Senate Republican Conference.
Asked by reporters about “some liberal dreams” that she would caucus with the Democrats, the senator said “that’s a dream by some that will not materialize. I can be very discouraged at times with things that go on in my own caucus, in my own party. I think each member feels that. OK.”
But she emphasized that “I have absolutely no desire to move over to the Democrat side of the aisle.”
Murkowski, who’s up for re-election in 2022, has served nearly two decades in the Senate, succeeding her father in 2002.
The senator lost a 2010 GOP primary to a much more conservative candidate during the Tea Party wave election cycle. But she ran a successful write-in campaign as an independent in the general election, winning another six-year term in the Senate.
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Murkowski is one of the few true moderates of either party left in the Senate.
“I’m going to continue to be the same person that I always have been, which is an individual that has views that many would say are moderate,” the senator highlighted.
She added that plans to “continue in the role that I have, which is one that is not afraid to be in the middle, even if there’s not a lot of people there that are with me.”
And Murkowski emphasized that she’d like the GOP to be the “party that is inclusive of young people and minorities, and LGBTQ and all people everywhere. Regardless of demographic or our background, I just, I think the Republican Party has so much to offer, if we can just get away from them, the personalities that have that have shaped it into a more narrowly defined view.”