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

Rep. Charlie DentCharles (Charlie) Wieder DentThe Hill's Morning Report - Government is funded, but for how long? Ex-GOP lawmaker says his party is having a 'Monty Python' moment on shutdown Former GOP lawmaker: Republicans know shutdown is ‘a fight they cannot win’ MORE (R-Pa.) said Thursday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump calls Sri Lankan prime minister following church bombings Ex-Trump lawyer: Mueller knew Trump had to call investigation a 'witch hunt' for 'political reasons' The biggest challenge from the Mueller Report depends on the vigilance of everyone 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 MooreGOP Senate campaign arm hits battleground-state Dems over 'Medicare for All,' Green New Deal The Hill's Morning Report — Category 5 Mueller storm to hit today GOP leaders dead set against Roy Moore in Alabama 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."