Van Drew Endorses Another Trump White House Run
A New Jersey congressman who was elected as a Democrat but switched parties in 2019 is emerging as one of the strongest supporters of Donald Trump taking another run at the presidency.
Rep. Jeff Van Drew will also no longer acknowledge the legitimacy of Joe Biden's election as president and is among a growing number of Republicans who say Trump is blameless in the Capitol insurrection last January.
Trump has remained a divisive force among Republicans in New Jersey and beyond. With Trump again holding his massive campaign-style rallies around the country, more GOP lawmakers are lining up to support another run. If Trump did enter the race, even republicans who do not support him can't deny that he would be the front-runner.
As for Van Drew, count him among those who would fully support Trump running for another term. "Yes I would," Van Drew told CNN.
The cable news network also asked Van Drew if he believed that Biden was the “duly-elected 46th president of the United States.” Van Drew was non-committal. "I am not going to make that determination," Van Drew told CNN, "I do think is that we need to make sure that our election system works right."
Van Drew did oppose the certification of Biden as president, telling the Associated Press at the time, "It's not so much that I want to overturn the election. It is the fact that some really, really — if everybody would clear their head and look at this — that some really wrong things did happen." He also opposed attempts to impeach Trump a third time.
Van Drew was facing tough re-election prospects when he switched parties in 2019. Many believed his switch was more about political survival, rather than any change in ideology. Trump praised Van Drew during an event at the White House and held a rally in his district as a reward for the switch. The newly minted republican helped oppose Trump's impeachment twice.
The South Jersey congressman has also joined a growing number of republicans courting Trump's support by claiming the former president is not responsible for violence that broke out at the U.S. Capitol following a pro-Trump rally on January 6th. He has also been a strong critic of President Joe Biden, especially for the way the troop withdrawal in Afghanistan was handled.
Pressed by CNN about the insurrection, and whether he thinks Trump played a role, Van Drew was blunt in his response. "I do not," Van Drew said, "I think people are responsible for their own actions."