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Kinzinger says Trump Republicans will come back around


Wednesday, January 27, 2021  |  Article  |  By Cole Lauterbach | The Center Square

Candidates--Federal (13) , Political Parties (Incld Tea Party) (39a)
(The Center Square) – One of Illinois’ Republican Congressmen says the nation’s Republicans will slowly move away from former President Donald Trump as time passes.

In a Monday interview with CNN’s Jim Sciutto, U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger said the GOP’s Trump faithful would eventually find themselves back in the party fold.

“Every day that goes by, there are less and less people that would consider themselves ‘Trump Republicans’ as the emotion wears off,” he said. “In six months, it’s not necessarily going to be the party of Donald Trump. I do think that we are in a battle, maybe a battle that really needs to happen, for our party to say ‘what is it that we stand for.’ Not when it comes to policy but, as much as anything, are we aspirational or are we a party that feeds on fear.” 

After his loss, Trump supporters had begun talking about forming a new party, even going so far as to create the “MAGA Patriot Party National Committee” with the Federal Elections Commission. Trump has since denied any ties to the filing. 

Kinzinger is one of ten Republicans who joined House Democrats to vote for the impeachment of Trump earlier this month on “incitement of insurrection.” 

Although he voted with Trump’s interest nine-times-out-of-ten, the Channahon Republican has taken up the mantle of anti-Trump Republican, not shying away from criticizing the president or his loyal followers. 

Sciutto asked Kinzinger whether he would consider leaving the Republican Party if it continues to side with Trump’s firebrand style of politics.

“It sounds kind of corny but, when I was a kid, I fell in love with the ideas of the Republican Party. I feel like we’ve lost a lot of that now,” Kinzinger said. “If we stay an angry, divisive party, it will be hard to consider the Republican Party home but my values won’t have changed, it will have been the party’s values.”

The representative’s calls for Trump’s ouster resulted in Republicans saying he should face consequences. A Rockford Republican Party official called for Kinzinger to be formally censured and disavowed over his opposition to the president.

Kinzinger is rumored to be exploring a run for a statewide office, possibly U.S. Senate or Illinois governor, but hasn’t addressed that yet. Speaking out against Trump, who lost Illinois to President Joe Biden by 17 percentage points, could endear him to potential swing voters in an upcoming election.