Kinzinger Slams McCarthy For Handing Trump ‘Leadership’ Of GOP

Kinzinger Slams McCarthy For Handing Trump 'Leadership' Of GOP adam kinzinger speaks while seated Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., questions witnesses during a House Committee on Foreign Affairs hearing in 2020. (Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images)

By Fran Beyer | Sunday, 16 May 2021 11:36 AM

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., on Sunday slammed House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., for handing former President Donald Trump “his leadership card” over the Republican Party.

In an interview on NBC News’ “Meet The Press,” Kinzinger said he “would love to move on” but blames McCarthy for prolonging the debate over Trump’s place in the party.

“I believe he is the leader of the Republican Party right now, because Kevin McCarthy gave him his leadership card,” he said. “You can't say he's the leader and say we have to move on. I would love to move on. When Liz Cheney probably on a total of maybe four or five times just simply answered questions that the election wasn't stolen and then Donald Trump dozens and dozens of times says it is, it's not Liz's fault.”

Kinzinger also refuted the argument that it’s possible to embrace a policy but not the comments of behavior of either Trump or Cheney, arguing that’s an argument that echoes a North Korean rationale.

“This is something that echoes a little bit out of North Korea where, no matter what policy comes out, you're loyal to the guy, Donald Trump,” he said. “I had so many people who said ‘I don't like what Donald Trump tweets, but I like his policies, so I'm going to support him. Liz Cheney… I like her policies but I don't like her tweets. She needs to leave.’

“We have to recognize that as a party and recognize that four months ago, we allowed the narrative to lead to an insurgency on Jan. 6. Until we take ownership, we can't heal,” he said.

“I’ve been a Republican far longer than Donald Trump has, and I'm not going to let him come in and hijack my party and turn it into something that great people like Ronald Reagan and George W. and George H.W. Bush and all the great leaders back didn't want it to be,” he added. “I'm not going to let Donald Trump win at that. That's what the fight is about.”

According to Kinzinger, voters have to “work through misinformation” themselves.

“I think people have to take responsibility for their own ability to work through misinformation, to remember what the Constitution is about, to be okay with losing power for a little bit and let that actually reaffirm that you have to go out and win a next generation of conservatives,” he said.

“Right now… we're sitting here with Donald Trump throwing up all the smoke screen of four months ago. We want to move on. It's hard to do when he keeps bringing it back to a stolen election which, of course, wasn't true,” he added.

“I think President Biden has gone significantly far to the left. I think the American people will react. That is a reaction to Joe Biden and I don't think an affirmation that Donald Trump should be the party leader,” he insisted.

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