Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) tore into his Republican colleagues on Sunday, calling them willing participants of a “party of lies, of conspiracy, of dishonesty” after announcing on Friday that he will not run for reelection next year.
“You can fight against the cancer in the Republican Party of lies, of conspiracy, of dishonesty, and you ultimately come to the realization that basically, it’s me, [Rep.] Liz Cheney [R-Wyo.], and a few others that are telling the truth, and there are about 190 people in the Republican Party that aren’t going to say a word,” Kinzinger said in an interview with ABC News’ “This Week.”
“I haven’t seen any momentum in the party move away from lies and towards truth,” he added.
The six-term Republican would have faced an uphill battle if he were to run again due to congressional redistricting in his state that would pit him against Rep. Darin LaHood, who is a strong supporter of Trump. Kinzinger acknowledged that his decision not to seek reelection is “potentially” a win for Trump, but not one that “was my decision.”
“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,” Kinzinger said. “This is not on, you know, the 10 of us that voted to impeach [Trump]. 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.”
Trump immediately celebrated Kinzinger’s announcement not to run by declaring, “2 down, 8 to go!” apparently referring to the 10 Republicans who voted for his impeachment.
Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio), one of those 10, is seemingly the second person Trump was referring to since Gonzalez last month announced that he will not seek reelection. Gonzalez would have faced a similarly challenging run against a Trump-backed candidate.
Kinzinger has so far been a bit vague about his plans once his term ends, only announcing the creation of his Country First PAC, which is designed to help other GOP candidates who voted to impeach Trump.
He insisted Sunday that his political career is not ending, however, but instead “beginning.”