Republican South Dakota Sen. John Thune brushed off criticism from former President Donald Trump in a Friday interview on Fox News’ “Your World With Neil Cavuto.”
During the interview, Thune was asked by host Neil Cavuto what he thought of the personal attacks he received from Trump, as well as the nature of his relationship with the former president now. (RELATED: Sen. Thune Says Republicans Are Engaging In ‘Cancel Culture’ When Censuring Their Own For Voting To Convict Trump)
“Even though you didn’t even vote [inaudible] the impeachment trial in the Senate, and did not vote to convict the president, the very fact that you disputed the president’s claims of election fraud inspired his wrath when he said of you that your political career is over, and thought it would be a good idea for you to be primaried and challenged,” Cavuto began. “What did you think of all that and what is your relationship with the former president now?”
“It’s a free country, Neil, and he’s an individual that has a big following out there, obviously, politically, and continues to be a major force in the politics of our country. But, you know, I will do what I have to do in South Dakota. If getting primaried is the price for standing up, and speaking the truth, and standing up for the rule of law and the Constitution, then so be it,” Thune responded.
He went on to say the “main thing” going into the 2022 midterm elections is that Trump and Republicans in Congress “are going to be united” in working to win majorities in the House and Senate. He added that, in his view, the country is “heading into a left ditch” because “the Democratic Party is controlled by the Bernie Sanders wing of the party.”
“We think the American people are center right. They want solutions that are center right. We want to govern in that direction, and to do that, we’ve got to win the House and the Senate back. And I think that President Trump and all Republicans will be united in that cause,” Thune concluded.
In December, Thune joined other Republican senators in acknowledging that President Joe Biden won the election, despite Trump’s claims of widespread election fraud. As a result, Trump went after Thune saying, “South Dakota doesn’t like weakness,” the senator’s political career was over, and that he would be “primaried in 2022.”
Trump has yet to make any endorsements in Thune’s primary, but he did urge Republican South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem to challenge Thune, according to Forbes. Noem declined.