GOP lawmaker: Trump 'a factor' in my decision to retire from Congress

Rep. Charlie DentCharles (Charlie) Wieder DentPennsylvania New Members 2019 Dem wins leave behind a more conservative GOP conference How Republicans who voted against ObamaCare repeal fared in midterms MORE (R-Pa.) said Thursday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpMichelle Obama says not always easy to live up to "we go high" Georgia certifies elections results in bitterly fought governor's race Trump defends border deployment amid fresh scrutiny MORE was "a factor" in his decision not to seek reelection next year.

"Well, at least in my case, I would say the president was a factor, but not the factor for me deciding to leave," Dent said during an interview with CNN.
 
He added that "a very challenging midterm environment" was also a factor in his decision.
 
"The party of the president typically loses 32 seats in a situation like this," Dent said.
 
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"Of course then, Donald Trump, you know, complicates that because he's a very polarizing figure, and so I suspect our challenges will be even greater just because of that."
 
The Republican Party has a "much stronger base with older voters and white voters," he said.
 
"You clearly alienate a lot of Hispanic voters with [Trump's] comments on Mexicans and Latinos, and of course you have the Charlottesville situation," Dent said. "Politics and getting elected is an exercise in inclusion and not exclusion."
 
He noted he thinks both the Democratic and Republican parties are in a "bad place" now.
 
"It seems to me that the political parties are realigning right now," Dent said, "and nobody is sure how it is going to sort itself out."
 
Dent, who was first elected to the House in 2004, announced earlier this year he would not seek reelection in 2018. He has been critical of his own party under Trump and was a vocal opponent of Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy MooreRoy Stewart MooreTrump to hold two rallies for Hyde-Smith day before Mississippi runoff Parties start gaming out 2020 battleground Victimhood culture and traditional justice are on a collision course MORE.
 
Earlier this month, Dent, who also co-chairs the moderate Tuesday Group, warned that the GOP should be "prepared for the worst" in the 2018 midterm elections, pointing to Trump's low approval ratings.
 
He also said in an interview earlier this month the litmus test for Republicans has changed under Trump's administration.

"You know, before Donald Trump became president, the litmus test for Republicans was — it was really about the ideological purity and conformity," he said.

"Now the litmus test has changed. The issue is loyalty to the man, to the president. And for some, you know, loyalty is not enough, you have to be angry and aggrieved."