Chicago Sun-Times: Rep. Adam Kinzinger on the fight for the future of the GOP: ‘That epic battle has commenced’

The most prominent Republican in Illinois, Kinzinger is stepping up his crusade to “RestoreOurGOP,” as his hashtag says, in this post-Trump era.

WASHINGTON — Once again, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., on Thursday was the lonely voice, the only Republican to say freshman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., — the QAnon conspiracy booster — should be punished for supporting on-line threats to execute Democrats and suggesting incorrectly school massacres were “false flag” operations.

With twice-impeached ex-President Donald Trump out of the White House but retaining his grip on Republicans, “There is a real split for the future of the party, and that epic battle has commenced,” Kinzinger told the Chicago Sun-Times.

“I’m fine being the only one doing it or one of just a few, but it would nice if more people that believe, similar to me, were vocal about it,” Kinzinger said.

GOP House Leader Kevin McCarthy met with Trump in Florida on Thursday to kiss Trump’s ring and pick up his pledge to help flip the House to Republicans in 2022.

The most prominent Republican in Illinois — mentioned as a potential candidate in 2022 for governor or senator — Kinzinger is stepping up his crusade to “RestoreOurGOP,” as his hashtag says.

His quest is an outgrowth of his campaign against conspiracy theorists that course adjusted after Trump tried to overthrow the election and his supporters attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6, leaving five dead.

First elected to Congress in 2010, Kinzinger represents the sprawling 16th Congressional District, sweeping in 14 counties west, north and south of Chicago, with borders touching Indiana and Wisconsin.

He is one of 10 House Republicans to vote for Trump’s second impeachment.

Evangelist and Trump acolyte Franklin Graham, the son of Billy Graham, likened the 10 to Judas Iscariot in a Facebook post: “It makes you wonder what the 30 pieces of silver were that Speaker Pelosi promised for this betrayal.”

I asked Kinzinger about what Graham said regarding the 10, and he told me, “as a Christian myself it was just heartbreaking to see” how “far, you know, personalities in the movement have fallen.”

Kinzinger, 42, raised a Baptist, left that church when he was 20 and is now a “non- denominational Protestant.”

For Graham to “equate those of us that voted to defend the Constitution to Judas, who betrayed Jesus, aka Trump, I mean it was — I didn’t get mad about it because nothing really makes me mad, you know — but I was just, I was actually more heartbroken,” Kinzinger said.

Kinzinger did not vote for Trump in 2016 and did in 2020, based on his conservative record — even as Kinzinger vaulted onto the national scene for taking on conspiracy theories embraced by Trump and his supporters.


The entire article can be found on the Chicago Sun-Times website here.

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  • Maura Gillespie
    published this page in News 2021-02-22 13:50:00 -0600