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Tom Rooney Rolls the Dice By Opposing Donald Trump

October 11, 2016 - 6:00am
Tom Rooney
Tom Rooney

Florida Republican Congressman Tom Rooney is rolling the dice, making one of the biggest gambles of his political career. 

This past weekend, after a recording of Donald Trump engaging in a lewd conversation emerged, Congressman Tom Rooney said he would not vote for the Republican presidential hopeful. Rooney, who is considered a likely candidate for statewide office, also said he would not back Hillary Clinton for the presidency either. 

“As the father of three young sons, I don’t want my boys growing up in a world where the president of the United States is allowed to speak or treat women the way Donald Trump has,” Rooney said on Saturday. “My greatest responsibility in life is to try and be a good husband and father. If I support him for president, I will be telling my boys that I think it’s okay to treat women like objects – and I’ll have failed as a dad. Therefore, I can no longer support Donald Trump for president and will not be voting for him or Hillary Clinton.”

Other Republicans in the Florida delegation, including Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, David Jolly and Carlos Curbelo are also not backing Trump. But Ros-Lehtinen has never shown any signs of wanting to leave her South Florida district and Curbelo and Jolly are both fighting for their political lives. 

Rooney has garnered speculation as a candidate for higher office. He opened the door at the start of 2015 to run for the U.S. Senate if Marco Rubio decided not to run for a second term but ultimately pulled back. With his service in the Army, including teaching law at West Point, and his family connections to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Rooney looks like an attractive candidate for down the road. Rooney’s name has been thrown around for the Senate in 2018 and for other offices including attorney general and state CFO. 

But Rooney’s decision on Trump could hurt those aspirations. Trump’s supporters remain loyal to their candidate, even as several GOP elected officials jumped off the bandwagon this past weekend. 

Nor does Trump show any signs of forgiving Republicans jumping off his bandwagon. 

“So many self-righteous hypocrites,” Trump posted on Twitter on Sunday. “Watch their poll numbers - and elections - go down!”

Rooney should expect some headaches from Trump and his backers if he decides to make a bid for higher office in the next election cycle or two. They’ll certainly hurt his chances in a Republican primary. 

In the short run, this shouldn’t impact Rooney’s chances for another term. In the general election, Rooney faces  opposition in what is a reliably Republican district. Rooney takes on Democrat April Freeman and John Sawyer, who is running with no party affiliation, in November. 



John Sawyer for me. I never trusted Rooney. Now I see why.

good bye rooney and good riddance - thank you for letting me know your feelings before I vote for the first Democrat that I have ever voted for in my life.

good bye rooney and good riddance - thank you for letting me know your feelings before I vote for the first Democrat that I have ever voted for in my life.

I will not vote for you. When you turn your back on what is at stake and betray your party when the other party has done way worse than Trump will ever do. No vote for you!

Rooney just lost my vote and I am going to encourage all my friends not to vote for him. I supported him in the past but if he cannot stand by the republican party then he is history. Shame on Rooney. Typical Washington Politician. good bye.

Rooney had a choice between political suicide and political suicide. He chose the latter.

I Am Very Disappointed In You Mr Rooney. I Voted for You In The Primary Election And I Will Not Be Voting For You In The November Election. What Mr Trump Has Done is Nothing Compared to What The Clinton's Have Done For Many Years. As Soon As Things Get Rough You Jump Ship. I Feel Betrayed By You. Who are You To Judge Someone?

Christine, You took the words out of my mouth. I don't know any man that is without some kind of questionable past., I'm not condoning what Donald said or might have done. But giving Hillary the win will only destroy our nation, her halo and Bill's are more tarnish and haven been for many years before he became President. Where was the Democratic party then and now, digging up her past? NO. Why are we not together backing our Presidential candidate? I believe all you men have not been Holier than thou. I have been groped, my behind patted and obsence suggestions made to me in my past working in an all male career (automotive engineering). That was in the 60's, 70's and 80's, what did I do - put them in their place. I did not run to my superiors (who were male) but took matters in my own hands. I also was fondled by the Catholic monk on the airplane when I in my 20's. I again put him in my place, the fondling stopped immediately. Jessica could have done the same. I don't know what happened to the other women but I do know what happened to Bill's girls (and the Democrats turned the other cheeks). What did Hillary do - She still stood by her man! Why, we ask? To be exactly where we are today. After Bill left office, Bill was flying up to Canada and was openly seeing a powerful automotive supplier owner's daughter. Did Hillary know it when she was in NY Senate - absolutely! How do I know this - my son worked for that company and it was knows throughout the company (yes, through some gossip but also seen they were seen in public as a couple many time). I don't want 4 possibly 8 years of Obama-Hillary Democratic government. In the next couple of weeks, I don't hear you backing our Republican candidate - you have and will forever lose my vote. I hoped you would not be like the other a "career politician". We (the people) spoke in your district, I expect you to do what we asked of you. Thank you and thank you Christine.

Rooney. Not a true republican and you won't ever get my vote! Go ahead jerk. Act like ur protecting ur daughters. And those very daughters will marry a man who probably does the same. Simple locker room guy talk. YOU too have done the same I am sure. And if ur so worried. Maybe you should let your daughters sit on bill clintons lap and tell him why they like his wife better than trump!!!! YOU IDIOT!!!!! mind or a true moron. Use that in your next campaign because that's about what you stand for.

I for one was ready to vote for Rooney, but after his pulling a RHINO on us I will not vote for him. Thanks all for giving me John Sawyers name I will check him out. As far as Trump he is who he is except it and vote for him. Yes, I do wish he would be a bit more humble. Maybe one of our fine pastors can help him with that.

The bold leader gets the sniffles and the cowards flee the battlefield. Trump exposes another Democrat in Republican clothing. Plenty of traitors in US history who had military credentials, not impressed. This is a stain on Mr. Rooney that can never be cleansed.

Your knee jerk reaction to Trump just lowered my opinion of you. You are the establishment that WE THE PEOPLE are against. This smear campaign against Donald Trump shows that Hillary wins. We lose to liberal Supreme court judges, more regulations, Obama Care, more Government corruption, more Syrian refugees, loss of gun rights, higher taxes...all these issues Trump stands for the people. Hillary stands for herself..period. You should be ashamed of not backing the people. The hypocrisy that goes on in political elite stinks to high heaven. I used to support and vote for you. Not anymore unless you rise above what is truly going on.. The autocrats of the Republican party and the socialists of the Democratic party. You are the very reason I left the Republican party and became an independent. There is no one in DC representing me.

God I love it! ! Things just can't be better for dems as the Trump chumps attack the few decent republicans left.............. Just read those easily fooled chumps below backing one of the most vile men in the US.............. And I thank you from the bottom of my heart......... And after the election where you, republicans go down in flames, go bssck and crawl under that rock you came from........... And show just what republicans get for pandering to these deplorables for decades and now they have taken over ths republican wasteland. At least what is left of it............ Oh the irony! ;^))

Mr. Rooney, you reacted too fast to a planted story. The real story is how you must not support the constitution, a nations rights to have borders, the second amendment, a controlled smaller federal government, admonishment of special interests in DC, a balanced budget, an accountable VA, and a stronger military. I am deeply disappointed in your casting of stones at Mr. Trump. At least he stayed loyal to the American people, which is more than what I can say about you. You will never get my vote in the future, nor the rest of my family's. I am surprised that a vet can abandon their fellow servicemen so quickly. I guess I will have to check out Sawyer now.

Rooney The RINO's actions are sad and not just the opposition of Trump. In 8 years, He's only sponsored three bills that became law! Hes a do nothing placeholder....its great to finally have other options who will fight for our veterans as much as the veterans who fought for us!

Voting Trump, Rooney won't be checked on my ballot.

Look at John Sawyer, the only true conservative in this race. A registered Republican, running as an NPA to buck the establishment. Unlike Tom, he supports Donald Trump ,sticks to his word, and does not cater to special interests. Check him out at

Will not vote for Rooney as I have in the past. Sawyer is getting my vote. Trump as well.

I will thank you

I'm in the 17th district, Avon Park FL, and I voted for Rooney. I will NOT be voting for Rooney again in November, unless he reverses course on Trump.

Good for you. Rooney obviously is either a RINO or an establishment elite.

Rooney is being disloyal to the party rank & file, and unless he reverses his decision he will not get my vote in November, or in the future. Trump was not my first, or even third choice, but he was the choice of the PARTY, and I do not believe I could stomach calling myself Republican if I did not show loyalty to my fellow Republicans. After the party Patricians pushed McCain, and then Romney - the only human being on Earth who could NOT legitimately plaster Obama on Obysmalcare, it's small wonder Trump took the ring.. Any SO-CALLED Republican that does NOT support our nominee now is a TURNCOAT, pure and simple, and we WILL remember.

Proud of you, Tom.

Rooney has just lost two more votes.. And we will not forget that he would not back support or vote for the presidential candidate the people of this party choose. It is a slap in our faces..#Makeamericagreat#deplorable#ireedemable

No more votes for Rooney. I have 3 grown sons and taught them and they have taught their children that life is not a world that is all pure and we all can make mistakes.

Mr Rooney, you will not get the support my family of 7 in November. Maybe, you should come home to Okeechobee now. I hear the Clinton campaign needs help on their phone banks.

Rooney can go stuff it where the sun don't shine. Oh, wait! Is that offensive? Will Mr. Rooney's feelings be hurt by my remark? Good, the putz is one more of the problems we have with politics. My remarks were intended to be insulting.

He just crapped out. The Rooneys are big OhBummah supporters and this RINO just stepped on his.

Smart man, Rooney. It is about what is best, not party before principles. You have a level of integrity that most in your party do not have. As an Independent voter, I am impressed by your dedication to your family...

That's "snake eyes" for you Tom.... Better see if is another "Senate Mail Room" opening for you to return to your former job as "Mailboy" since you don't even have ANY "lawyer credibility". Sebring & Punta Gorda MUST be able to find a better candidate than YOUR small-minded childishness.... Recheck your residents Folks, there just MUST be someone other than this loser...


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