Murkowski: No, I'm Not Switching Parties

Alaskan senator didn't vote for Trump but says a Democrat is 'not who I am'
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 22, 2021 3:40 PM CST
Murkowski to Stay Republican, Keeping the Senate Split
Sen. Lisa Murkowski attends a hearling in June.   (Michael Reynolds/Pool via AP, File)

Sen. Lisa Murkowski didn't vote for Donald Trump in November, and she doesn't always agree with what goes on in the Republican Party. But she still won't switch sides. "I can't be somebody that I'm not," she told reporters Friday. If she'd agree to caucus with Democrats, Politico reports, they'd hold a majority; the Senate is split 50-50 now. Murkowski apparently didn't vote for President Biden, either. She said she wrote in a name because she preferred "to vote affirmatively for somebody. I don't want to vote for somebody that I don't feel confident and strong and good in." After the attack on the US Capitol, Murkowski said Trump should resign. And in the past, per the Hill, she's said, "if the Republican Party continues to be the party of Trump, I'm not quite sure where I fit."

"As kind of disjointed as things may be on the Republican side," Murkowski said Friday, "there's no way you can talk me into going over to the other side, that's not who I am." She conceded that not being a Democrat doesn't necessarily make her a Republican: "Now, some of the Republicans will say, you are not really one of us. Let's define: What is the Republican Party nowadays?" Her answer: "In many ways, we are a party that is really struggling to identify." No other Republican senator appears to be considering crossing the aisle. Vermont Sen. Jim Jeffords moved over to the Democratic side in 2001, several months into a deadlocked Senate. That gave Democrats control. (More Lisa Murkowski stories.)

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