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Meijer says returning to Biden-Trump in 2024 would be ‘pretty sad commentary’ on country

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By Veronica Stracqualursi, CNN

Rep. Peter Meijer of Michigan, one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump last year, said he doesn’t want a rematch between President Joe Biden and Trump in the 2024 presidential election.

“I think if in 2024 we’re back to a Biden/Trump dynamic, it will be a pretty sad commentary on where our country is,” Meijer, who lost to a Trump-backed primary opponent earlier this week, told CNN’s John Avlon on “New Day” on Friday.

“That is a very messed up and frustrating and depressing dynamic, where we’re just settling for the lowest common acceptable denominator rather than advocating for folks that make people passionate, excited and thrilled about what the future may bring,” he added.

Meijer, a freshman lawmaker, on Tuesday became the second House Republican who voted for Trump’s impeachment to lose a primary, in his case to John Gibbs, a fervent election denier running with the former President’s support. South Carolina Rep. Tom Rice lost his primary in June. So far only one of the so-called impeachment 10 — California Rep. David Valadao — has survived their primary this year and advanced to the November election.

CNN has not yet projected whether Washington Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler and Dan Newhouse, who both voted to impeach Trump, will move on to the general election after their Tuesday primaries. Four of the impeachment 10 are retiring. And Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, one of two GOP members on the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol, faces several Trump-aligned challengers in her August 16 primary, including Harriet Hageman, who has the former President’s endorsement.

On Friday, Meijer told CNN that he’s “not here to whine about the (Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee) coming in and meddling” in his race, referring to the House Democratic campaign arm spending spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on ads to boost Gibbs’ profile in hopes of a more favorable general election matchup. (Gibbs will face Democrat Hillary Scholten in November.)

But Meijer added: “Any party that pretends to have a set of principles, any party that pretends to have a set of values and that comes in and boosts exactly the same type of candidate that they claim is a fear to — a threat to democracy — don’t expect to be able to hold on to that sense of self-righteousness and sanctimony.”

“What type of a system are we going to have if candidates step forward and realize that they can just be ejected by both sides of the aisle? That there is no incentive to try to be a productive member,” Meijer continued. “That you will never find any semblance of comfort or safety in doing the job, that it all will come down to partisan benefit, no matter what the consequence.”

The congressman warned that both parties “are playing this role of trying to eject some of the members who are best capable of holding on to their seats and that is just going to lead to slimmer majorities, it’s going to lead to more flipping between extremes, and frankly more partisan chaos.”

Asked if he would remain open to running for political office again, Meijer replied, ” Absolutely. I’m not on the ballot in 2022, I’m not campaigning in 2022, but I plan to stay very engaged in politics.”

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CNN’s David Wright contributed to this report.

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