Murkowski is re-elected in 2022 and is one of the few true moderates left in the Senate, along with Susan Collins (R-Maine), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) And Joe Manchin (DW.Va.). She previously said that while the GOP remains Trump’s party, she doesn’t necessarily know how she fits. She also called on Trump to step down.
She said after losing her 2010 primary to a Conservative brand, she spoke to the Libertarian Party about running under their ticket. But his response was, “Thank you, but no thank you. I do not wear a flag of convenience. She won the general election with an impressive written campaign.
“Now, some Republicans will say, you are not really one of us. Let’s define: what is the Republican Party these days? Now there is an interview for you. But really, where are we, the Republican Party? Who really embodies the heart of the party right now? She said Friday. “In a lot of ways, we’re a party that really struggles to identify with.”
Murkowski said many people in his state disliked Trump’s style but supported his policies, especially related to his support for energy exploration. Alaska has long been mired in an economic downturn, and Murkowski said Biden’s suspension of energy exploration permits gave him “a lot of heartburn.”
In 2001, Vermont Senator Jim Jeffords moved from the GOP to the Democratic Party after several months of a tied Senate, giving Democrats a majority. It looks like no such switch is in the works this time around.
“As a little rambling as things can be on the Republican side, there’s no way you can convince me to go to the other side, that’s not who I am,” Murkowski said.
His remarks mean the Senate will likely remain stuck in a 50-50 tie for two years pending retirement or some unforeseen event. Collins has also repeatedly ruled out caucus switching and has just won re-election to another six-year term as a Republican.
Still, it is clear that Murkowski has big reservations about leading the GOP with Trump which is expected to captivate a significant portion of the Republican Party for years to come. She said she did not vote for Trump because she wanted to “vote yes for someone.” I don’t want to vote for someone who I don’t feel confident, strong and good in. I don’t want to accept the lesser of two evils.