Trump endorses Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy, but says Sen. Bill Cassidy 'went stupid'
Former President Donald Trump has endorsed Louisiana Republican U.S. Sen. John Kennedy in his 2022 relection bid while taking a swipe at fellow Louisiana Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy because of his impeachment vote.
Trump remains popular in Louisiana, where he won 58% of the vote in the Nov. 2, 2020 election compared to President Biden's 40%.
"John is strong on crime, the border, our military, our veterans, pro-life, energy and the economy, and our very much under siege Second Amendment," Trump said in a statement issued by his political action committee. "He has my complete and total endorsement!"
Kennedy's seat is considered safe in 2022 with no challenge expected from within his own party and no Democrat on the horizon who is yet considered a threat.
Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards, who is Louisiana's only statewide elected Democrat, has said he doesn't plan to run against Kennedy.
Kennedy has been a Trump loyalist during both of the president's impeachment trials, but Cassidy was one of six Senate Republicans to join all 50 Democrats voting to convict Trump on Feb. 13 for inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol.
The former president was acquitted because it takes a two-thirds vote to convict.
"Unlike Louisiana’s other Senator, Bill Cassidy, who used my name in ads and all over the place in order to get reelected, and then went 'stupid,' John Kennedy is the real deal— a brilliant and highly educated man who will never let you down," Trump said.
Cassidy has said he is "totally at peace" with his impeachment trial vote.
Trump also campaigned for Kennedy in 2016 at a Baton Rouge rally.
Kennedy officially announced his reelction bid Tuesday.
"Five years ago, I made a promise, a promise that I took seriously," he said. "I told you that I would work to put our country back on track and make America great again.
"In the last five years, we’ve accomplished a lot, but now the socialists are racing to undo it all. So, my job — our job — isn’t finished."
Greg Hilburn covers state politics for the USA TODAY Network of Louisiana. Follow him on Twitter @GregHilburn1.