Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) on Sunday declined to answer when asked if former President Trump is qualified to run for a second presidential term and whether he’d support Trump in a reelection bid.
“I’ll keep my powder dry with regards to your last question,” Rounds told guest moderator Andrea Mitchell on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
“I think right now we’re going to focus on the 2022 election. We want to retake the House. We definitely want to retake the United States Senate,” he said.
The South Dakota Republican also discussed strategies for the midterms, saying his party would focus on, and likely campaign on, fixing the economy and fighting a recession.
“We want to see us get out of that recession, and certainly we want to see gas prices come down. They’re still a buck and a half higher than when Joe Biden took office,” Rounds said.
“Those are not good policies to run on for Democrats. We need to focus on that. And as we get past that and get into the 2024, I think the Republican will be well positioned, but let’s get past the 2022 election first.”
Rounds, endorsed by Trump in 2020, came under fire from the former president earlier this year after he said President Biden fairly won the 2020 election and suggested Trump could be prosecuted by the Justice Department for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Rounds stood by his comments even after Trump’s backlash, saying in a statement that attacking Republicans “certainly isn’t going to result in a winning formula.”
“Neither is telling citizens not to vote. If we are going to win in 2022 and 2024, we have to move forward together,” he added.