Gaetz Issues Heated Response to Anti-Trump Republican Targeting His Seat
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) issued a profanity-laced response and challenge on Wednesday to news of an anti-Trump Republican targeting his seat for the 2022 election with a new political action committee (PAC).
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), one of ten House Republicans who voted to impeach President Donald Trump, recently started a new PAC backing anti-Trump Republicans and targeting members of the GOP who support Trump.
“Adam is a patriot who fought for America from Northwest Florida. We will always appreciate & honor his service. Now, he wants to target my America First politics, referencing me by name,” Gaetz wrote on Twitter on Feb. 10.
“My response: [expletive] bring it. Adam needs PACs to win elections. I don’t.”
Kinzinger’s office did not respond to an emailed request for comment.
Kinzinger announced the launch of his PAC on Jan. 31.
“The Republican Party has lost its way,” Kinzinger said in a video posted on the website of his Country First PAC.
In the six-minute video, which mentions neither Trump’s name nor any specific policy issues, Kinzinger appears to equates the mob that breached the Capitol on Jan. 6 with the Republican Party. The Illinois Republican also alleged, without offering examples or evidence, that Republicans have embraced conspiracy theories, outrage, and the politics of personality.
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.), who issued a scathing statement criticizing Trump ahead of her vote to impeach the then-president.
Gaetz campaigned in Wyoming last month against Cheney with support from Donald Trump Jr., who spoke to the rally crowd via speakerphone. Gaetz was one of the most vocal supporters of Trump in Congress. He recently said he would be willing to leave his House seat to defend the president in the Senate impeachment trial.
The other House Republicans who joined Kinzinger in voting to impeach Trump 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 remains significant in Congress and among voters despite the Democrat’s attempts to impeach the former president over the violence that unfolded at the Capitol. Ninety-five percent of Republicans in the House voted against impeachment, while in the Senate, 44 Republicans voted on Tuesday against proceeding with the impeachment trial. 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.