One of the 10 House Republicans who voted last month to impeach President Donald Trump announced the start of a political action committee (PAC) on Jan. 31 to oppose the Republican Party’s embrace of Trump.
“The Republican Party has lost its way,” Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) said in a video posted on the website of the Country First PAC.
The six-minute video mentions neither Trump’s name nor any specific policy issues. In the remarks, Kinzinger equated the people who breached the Capitol on Jan. 6 with the Republican Party. Democrats embraced the same strategy in the wake of the Capitol breach and impeached Trump, alleging he incited an insurrection. Trump and Republicans have consistently condemned those who breached the Capitol, including on the day of the incident.
Kinzinger also alleged, without offering examples or evidence, that Republicans have embraced conspiracy theories, outrage, and the politics of personality.
“The party that always spoke of a brighter tomorrow, it no longer does. It talks about a dark future instead. Hope has given way to fear. Outrage has replaced opportunity. Worst of all, our deep convictions are ignored. They’ve been replaced by poisonous conspiracies and lies,” Kinzinger said.
Kinzinger is one of 10 Republicans being targeted for primary challenges by the Fight Back Now America PAC, which was started by former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. The PAC will first focus on defeating Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.). Cheney released a statement denouncing Trump when she announced the intention to vote to impeach the president.
The other House Republicans who voted to impeach the president are Reps. Anthony Gonzalez (Ohio), Jaime Herrera Beutler (Wash.) John Katko (N.Y.), Peter Meijer (Mich.), Dan Newhouse (Wash.), Tom Rice (S.C.), Fred Upton (Mich.), and David Valadao (Calif.)
Support for Trump is strong in Congress and among voters. Ninety-five percent of Republicans in the House voted against impeachment, while in the Senate, 45 Republicans voted for a resolution calling the impeachment trial unconstitutional. More than four in five GOP voters hold a favorable view of Trump, according to a Morning Consult poll released on Jan. 27.
Kinzinger has been a vocal Trump critic and was the only Republican to vote for a resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump. He told The Washington Post last month that he has felt isolated from his party in the aftermath of his impeachment vote.