ABC7 Chicago: Rep. Adam Kinzinger defends joining Jan. 6 committee
PRINCETON, Ill. (WLS) -- Congressman Adam Kinzinger was back in Illinois Tuesday, one week after his controversial participation in the House committee investigating the January 6th riot at the Capitol.
During his first trip back to the 16th District since his participation in the committee, he received a respectful welcome and made no apologies for his decision.
Kinzinger made several stops in the district Tuesday, stopping first at a luncheon in Princeton, where he has enjoyed support and visited often.
WALL: Is this kind of the come home and create some unity tour?
KINZINGER: I'm gonna try. Look, I recognize it's a tough hill to climb, but I also recognize that people I represent deserve to hear from me.
Kinzinger talked beforehand with Rotary Club members, then addressed the elephant in the room: his participation in the January 6th committee last week.
"I will say that I never expected, nor ever wanted, to serve on that committee," Kinzinger said.
But Kinzinger said it was the right decision, to get to the truth.
"No regrets. None at all," Kinzinger said. "In fact, I've had no regrets on the vote to impeach, no regrets on anything related to that since, because, you know, yes, politically, it's tough and it's much easier to survive if you just come back and tell people what they want to hear."
"Hearing him in person today, it made me understand where he's coming from. And, and I do agree with him," said Michael Stutzke, a member of Princeton Rotary Club.
Kinzinger also spoke about the need for an end to the divisiveness that defines politics these days.
"We've become a society focused on stoking cultural differences. My big concern is we can't survive that," Kinzinger said.
"I was really encouraged with that message to, you know, start within our communities and build that back," Princeton Rotary Club President Tracy Grimmer said.
For Kinzinger, Princeton provided a refreshing change from Washington.
"You go from DC, this high pressure cooker, to come home and just see, like, the folks I represent, is always awesome," he said.
As for his political future, Kinzinger still plans to run for Congress next year. But if the new congressional maps leave him without a district, he's still eyeing a potential run for the senate or for governor.
The original article and video clip interviews can be found on the ABC7 website here.