Former Sen. Alan Simpson of Wyoming.
AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File
- Former Sen. Alan Simpson said the current iteration of the GOP has become a “cult,” per a new book.
- “We’re not really talking about common sense or even politics anymore in my party,” he said.
- In Mark Leibovich’s book, Simpson was critical of former President Trump while praising Liz Cheney.
Former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson blasted the current iteration of the GOP as a “cult” and said former President Donald Trump has “poisoned our democracy,” according to a recently-released book by Mark Leibovich, a staff writer at The Atlantic.
In the book, “Thank You for Your Servitude: Donald Trump’s Washington and the Price of Submission,” the 90-year-old ex-Wyoming lawmaker was deeply critical of what he deemed “the tragedy of what has occurred” during the tenure of “this vicious animal who has poisoned our democracy.”
Simpson — who served in the Senate from 1979 to 1997 – said he voted for Trump in the 2016 presidential election but declined to do so in 2020, and contended that he would not back the former commander-in-chief again should he run in 2024.
And he criticized the state of the party over its Trump-driven identity, fueled by the “Make America Great Again” movement that powered the former president’s 2016 victory.
“We’re not really talking about common sense or even politics anymore in my party,” Simpson said in the book.
He continued: “This is not a Republican Party anymore. It’s a cult.”
The former senator is close to former Vice President Dick Cheney — who represented the state in the House as its at-large congressman from 1979 to 1989 before becoming the defense secretary under President George H.W. Bush — and has spoken with the prominent GOP figure about what he feels is the deterioration of the party.
Recently, Simpson appeared in a campaign ad for Rep. Liz Cheney, the daughter of the vice president and a conservative congresswoman who has become one of the biggest Republican critics of Trump’s debunked election claims.
Cheney was first elected to the House in 2016 and quickly rose up the leadership ladder by becoming the House Republican Conference Chair in 2019, but after voting to impeach Trump for “incitement of insurrection” for his actions on January 6, 2021, and vocally refuting his allegations of a “stolen” presidential election, she was removed from House leadership in May 2021.
She was later tapped by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California to serve as the vice chair of the January 6 committee investigating the Capitol riot; the panel’s work has led to a series of ongoing hearings that have brought previously undisclosed revelations about the events of that day to the public.
However, in Wyoming — a solidly Republican state where Trump won with nearly 70% of the vote in the 2020 election — Cheney’s outspokenness swiftly led to multiple GOP challengers who are aiming to oust her in the party primary next month.
Harriet Hageman, a water rights attorney, poses the biggest threat to Cheney’s reelection bid; a recent Casper Star-Tribune poll showed the congresswoman trailing her opponent by 22-percentage points.
While speaking with NBC News last month, Simpson defended Cheney’s rejection of Trump’s election claims and went after the former president.
“She’s not after Trump or hating Trump, she is stating what is obvious to many Americans: That this is a wrecking ball of democracy,” he said of the congresswoman’s efforts on the January 6 panel.
“This guy is so full of himself that he would overturn every kind of rule of law or Constitutional process because of his own ego, which is twisted,” he added.
Simpson earlier this month was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom — the nation’s highest civilian honor — by his longtime Senate colleague Biden during a White House ceremony.