Explaining his decision not to run for reelection, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), one of the few remaining anti-Trump Republicans in Congress, spoke of the “cancer” in the GOP “of lies, of conspiracy, of dishonesty.” He told This Week’s George Stephanopoulos that only he, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and a “few others” in the party are “telling the truth.”
“You can fight to try to tell the truth, you can fight against the cancer in the Republican Party of lies, of conspiracy, of dishonesty,” said Kinzinger, who announced his decision to retire from his House seat — but not from politics entirely — on Friday. “There are about 190 people in the Republican Party that aren’t going to say a word, and there’s a leader of the Republican caucus that is embracing Donald Trump with all he can.”
Kinzinger has distinguished himself among Republicans, along with Cheney, by voting to impeach former President Trump for his role in the insurrection and by serving on the Jan. 6 committee.
When Stephanopoulos asked Kinzinger to expand on his reasons for not seeking reelection, he said, “It’s a couple of things — it’s sitting back and saying, ‘OK, what happens if I win again?’ I go back, and Republicans will probably be in the majority. I’m going to be fighting even harder on some of these things, and it’s been obvious over the last 10 months that nobody … I haven’t seen any momentum in the party move away from lies and toward truth.”
Stephanopoulos next pressed on whether Kinzinger handed Trump a win by resigning because when he did, Trump said in a statement, “two down, eight to go,” meaning two Republicans who voted to impeach him have announced their resignations. The other member of the GOP to resign was Rep. Anthony Gonzalez.
“Donald Trump, he puts out [a statement] … I think he said, ‘Two down, eight to go.’ That’s about the only ink he gets from that. He’s kind of just tweeting or press releasing from Mar-a-Lago,” Kinzinger said. He then added that the Republican establishment has “continued to breathe life into” Trump.
“So actually, it’s not handing a win as much to Donald Trump as it is to the cancerous kind of lie and conspiracy not just wing anymore, but mainstream argument of the Republican Party.”
He continued, “It’s not on Liz Cheney and I to save the Republican Party. It’s on the 190 Republicans who haven’t said a dang word about it, and they put their head in the sand and hope somebody else comes along and does something.”
Although it is clear there is no room in the GOP for a politician like Kinzinger who so vocally opposes the former president, Kinzinger still holds positions against Democratic priorities such as abortion and voting rights.