After publicly testifying against former President Donald Trump in the House select committee's investigation of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers said he would nonetheless vote for Trump again if he were to become the 2024 nominee.
In June, Bowers told the Associated Press: “If he is the nominee, if he was up against Biden, I’d vote for him again. Simply because what he did the first time, before COVID, was so good for the country."
But in an interview with ABC's "This Week" on Sunday, Bowers — a Republican who is running for Arizona state Senate — said he'll never vote Trump again.
“I’ll never vote for him, but I won’t have to," Bowers said. "Because I think America’s tired and there’s some absolutely forceful, qualified, morally defensible and upright people, and that’s what I want. That’s what I want in my party, and that’s what I want to see.”
In his testimony before the House panel, Bowers said Trump and Rudy Giuliani, the president's personal lawyer, called him shortly after the 2020 election and together urged him to undo the results in the Arizona state Legislature by removing the electors for Joe Biden and replacing them with electors loyal to Trump.
Trump and Giuliani have relentlessly pushed unfounded and debunked claims of voter fraud, and Bowers told the Jan. 6 committee that nobody has ever provided him with substantive evidence to support those claims.
“I do not want to be a winner by cheating,” Bowers said during his testimony.
The Arizona Republican has faced a backlash from Trump loyalists since his appearance before the committee. Trump has called him a “coward” and endorsed his challenger. Bowers said members of his own party have called him a “traitor.”
"I've had people walk up and say, you know, just cold turkey, 'I'm ashamed of you,'" he said Sunday.
But Bowers doesn't regret resisting Trump's scheme to subvert the will of the voters and put forward false slates of electors.
"If we want to base a party and an authority and move people to solve problems, you can't base it on a lie," he said. "Ultimately, that falls apart."
Responding to Trump's attacks against him, Bowers called the former president a “demagogue” who maintains a hold on his base through “thuggery and intimidation.”
“I have thought, at times, someone born how he was, raised how he was — he has no idea what a hard life is," Bowers said. "And what people have to go through ... in the real world. He has no idea what courage is.”