WASHINGTON – Representative Francis Rooney, Republican of Florida, who has refused to vote against President Trump, said Saturday he would not seek re-election.
Mr. Rooney, who first won his district in southwest Florida in 2016, said in Fox News that he believed he had achieved what he wanted to do in Congress and been frustrated with aspects of the Legislative Service.
When asked if he was interested in a third semester, Mr. Rooney said, "I do not really think I do, and I do not really think I want one."
The day before, Mr. Rooney was the first House Republican to say he was prepared to consider supporting impeachment proceedings against the President to put pressure on Ukraine, but said he would retire on Saturday to step was not related. (He told reporters that the allegations had not reached the extent of the Watergate scandal.)
"I'll do what I think is right at all levels." Mr. Rooney told reporters on the Friday when he was asked if he was more open because he was thinking about retiring. "You have to do the right thing at every stage, whether I walk again is a completely different dose of worms that has to do with family matters, with businesses that want to do something different."
"This is a frustrating job for me "I come from a world of actions, decisions, lay down your money and see what happens, this is a world of conversation."
As a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rooney had access to the interviews conducted during the open impeachment investigation, which included a parade of professional diplomats and seniors officials to the Capitol to testify for hours As a former ambassador to the Holy See, he defended the career diplomats who testified and stated to the reporters on Friday that "it is painful for me to see this kind of amateur diplomacy when talking about our apparatus of "Some of the most blatant critics of the efforts of a high-level White House official to trace back earlier statements that Mr. Trump had demanded a return for withholding US aid from Ukraine.
"I could not believe it – I was very surprised he said that," he said, referring to the acting Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney.
"It's not an etch a sketch," he added, mimicking the gesture that erases the toy board.
He acknowledged that some of his Republican counterparts were concerned about attracting Mr. Trump's anger as the President continued to target outspoken conservative critics such as Senator Mitt Romney, Republican of Utah.
But Mr. Rooney said he has no such reservations. "I did not take this job to keep him."
"What will he do with me?" Mr. Rooney said about the president. "I mean, he could say bad things, but that's exactly what it is. Let's just talk the facts. "
" I want to find out the facts and do the right thing, "he added," because I look at my children a lot longer than I see anyone's building. "
Mr. Rooney, a businessman and one of the richest members of the congress, has long been part of the republican establishment.
One of the subsidiaries of Rooney Holdings, the company founded in 1984, Mr. Rooney and his family was responsible for the construction of presidential libraries for Presidents George and George W. Bush in Texas, for football stadiums, the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans, the Capitol Visitor Center in Washington and the Walter Reed Army Institute for Research outside the capital.
He has also earned a reputation as one of the few elected Republicans to recognize the science of climate change and called for a tax on carbon dioxide pollution to address the problem.
Mr. Trump won Mr. Rooney's wealthy district, which includes Fort Myers, Naples and Marco Island, 2016 with more than 20 points.
Asked in an interview with the New York Times about the voters' reaction to his criticism of the government Mr. Rooney said, "You do not understand how anyone can say anything that contradicts President Trump."
"I'm sorry," he said, "but I just call her like that I see her."
Lisa Friedman contributed to the coverage .