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Based on the first seven months of the Biden administration — including the “complete catastrophe” of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan — Sen. Tom Cotton thinks Americans already want to move in a new direction.
However, while others speculate whether he’ll be leading that movement, the Arkansas Republican said Wednesday he’s concentrating on regaining GOP control of Congress in the 2022 elections.
“I’ll let future elections work themselves out,” Cotton told The Gazette. “Things can change a lot in a year, much less three years. So that's pretty far off.”
Following re-election to the U.S. Senate for a second term last year, Cotton, 44, is exercising “the freedom of action to go out and do a lot of that work for my fellow Republicans.”
On Friday, he will be campaigning with 4th District Rep. Randy Feenstra and making an appearance with 1st District Rep. Ashley Hinson at the Iowa Prime fundraiser in Fayette that has attracted nearly 400 people.
Earlier this year, Cotton joined Iowa Sens. Chuck Grassley — who hasn’t said if he’s running for re-election next year — and Joni Ernst at a Republican Party of Iowa event.
He’s scheduled to return later this summer for a tailgate party with 2nd District Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks at a University of Iowa football game.
“Iowa is going to be the center of the political universe again next year,” Cotton said. “I think you could have three, maybe four, competitive House races. You've got a Senate race as well. With the razor-thin margins in both the Senate and the House, Iowa alone can potentially make the difference in winning back the majority in either or both chambers.”
Plus, he said, President Joe Biden’s handling of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan as well as Democrats’ open border policies, a crime wave and tax and spend policies “are sparking a backlash” among voters that gives him confidence in GOP gains in 2022.
From the “perspective of a frontline soldier” who served in Iraq, Cotton said the Biden administration may have helped improve Republican prospects with the “disastrous incompetence it showed in executing its decision to withdraw.”
“It's a disgrace and humiliating to America, and we're going to be dealing with those consequences for a long time to come,” the former Army Ranger said.
While not embracing the notion that he’s running for the GOP presidential nomination, Cotton didn’t completely sidestep the question.
“Once we get through that election,” he said about 2022, “I'll give more thought to the next election after that.”
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