WASHINGTON, DC — Former President Donald Trump released a statement encouraging America First candidates to run primary campaigns against several Republicans, whom he dismissed as “RINOs [Republicans in name only], sellouts, and known losers.”
Several of the Republicans Trump mentioned had recently voted for President Joe Biden’s massive $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill.
Trump Offers Backing to 'Good and SMART America First Republican Patriots' Willing to Primary These GOP Reps.— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) November 14, 2021
In a blunt statement that was released on Saturday, Trump suggested the Republican politicians should all be replaced with more patriotic candidates who focus on “America First” priorities.
NEW!— Liz Harrington (@realLizUSA) November 13, 2021
President Donald J. Trump:
"Any interest from good and SMART America First Republican Patriots to run primary campaigns against Representatives Tom Rice, John Katko, Don Bacon, Don Young, Fred Upton (challenge accepted), Andrew Garbarino, Peter Meijer (challenge accepted) pic.twitter.com/5RY8oQGDwH
The statement read:
“Any interest from good and SMART America First Republican Patriots to run primary campaigns against Representatives Tom Rice, John Katko, Don Bacon, Don Young, Fred Upton (challenge accepted), Andrew Garbarino, Peter Meijer (challenge accepted), David McKinley (challenge accepted), Nancy Mace, Jaime Herrera Beutler (challenge accepted) and Chris Smith?
“You will have my backing! Gonzalez, Kinzinger, and Reed already QUIT, they are out of politics, hopefully for good.
Here is President Trump’s speech from the America First Experience & Gala that I attended last week at Mar-a-Lago.— Kambree (@KamVTV) November 8, 2021
“Warmonger Liz Cheney (challenge accepted) is on the SKIDS with a 19% approval rating.
“Saving America starts by saving the GOP from RINOs, sellouts, and known losers!
“In the Senate, the ‘Disaster from Alaska,’ Lisa Murkowski (challenge accepted), must go. There is ‘almost’ nobody worse!”
In the past, Trump has previously criticized many Republicans for being too soft on proposals pushed by “Communist Democrats.”
Donald Trump disappointed with Senate Republicans: "RINOs are ruining America, right alongside Communist Democrats." pic.twitter.com/uJZafd10OA— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) July 29, 2021
In a July 29 statement, Trump had suggested RINOs worked alongside Communist Democrats:
“Under the weak leadership of Mitch McConnell, Senate Republicans continue to lose. He lost Arizona, he lost Georgia, he ignored Election Fraud and he doesn’t fight.
“Now he’s giving Democrats everything they want and getting nothing in return.
“No deal is better than a bad deal. Fight for America, not for special interests and Radical Democrats. RINOs are ruining America, right alongside Communist Democrats.”
13 sold out. You have to believe they got something for their vote— Hoghead1955 (@hoghead1955) November 9, 2021
On Nov. 5, the House of Representatives voted 228-206 to pass a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, which could not have passed without the support of 13 Republicans who pushed it through despite opposition from six progressive members of the House.
The 13 House Republicans who voted for Biden’s infrastructure bill included:
- Rep. Don Bacon of Nebraska;
- Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania;
- Rep. Andrew Garbarino of New York;
- Rep. Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio;
- Rep. John Katko of New York;
- Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois;
- Rep. Nicole Malliotakis of New York;
- Rep. David McKinley of West Virginia;
- Rep. Tom Reed of New York;
- Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey;
- Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan;
- Rep. Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey;
- Rep. Don Young of Alaska.
Both squishy Republicans and liberal Democrats have failed us by refusing to stand up to China.— Josh Mandel (@JoshMandelOhio) November 12, 2021
The problems we’re seeing today prove the importance of bringing back President Trump and the America First agenda.https://t.co/zTQ3L0JgeA
The six House Democrats who voted against the infrastructure bill included:
- Rep. Jamaal Bowman of New York;
- Rep. Cori Bush of Missouri;
- Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York;
- Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota;
- Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts;
- Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan.
The Democrats who voted against the bill were mostly progressives who had demanded that House leadership put the infrastructure bill and another larger bill — the Build Back Better Act — on the floor for a vote at the same time.
Hours prior to the House vote, Rep. Bush tweeted:
“Conservative Democrats are trying to tell my community that we should just shut up and accept a half deal.
“St. Louis sent me to Congress to do the most for all of us. We won’t accept anything less than the President’s full agenda. The people must win.”
Conservative Democrats are trying to tell my community that we should just shut up and accept a half deal.— Congresswoman Cori Bush (@RepCori) November 5, 2021
St. Louis sent me to Congress to do the most for all of us. We won't accept anything less than the President's full agenda.
The people must win.
Omar in a statement said that she has been firm in her support of both bills being passed together:
“From the beginning, I have been clear that I would not be able to support the infrastructure bill without a vote on the Build Back Better Act.
“Passing the infrastructure bill without passing the Build Back Better Act first risks leaving behind childcare, paid leave, health care, climate action, housing, education, and a roadmap to citizenship.”
Pressley also released a statement, saying:
“I refuse to choose between the livelihoods of the union workers who build our highways and bridges, and the childcare and healthcare workers who care for our children, elderly, and disabled loved ones.
“I refuse to choose between our crumbling roads, bridges public transit system, and our crumbling housing stock.”
However, moderates called for a vote on the infrastructure bill without connecting it to the Build Back Better Act, which many lawmakers on both sides of the aisle were still debating in terms of details.
The entire America First Movement from every sector and corner of the country joined together at Mar-a-Lago to uplift the policies that put the American people first and celebrate the historic policy achievements by the Trump Administration.— America First Policy Institute (@A1Policy) November 8, 2021
FULL SPEECH: https://t.co/uKHSa65c5w pic.twitter.com/01sS1xmns7
Of the 13 House Republicans who voted with Democrats on the infrastructure bill, only 10 are running for re-election next year. Reps. Gonzalez, Kinzinger and Reed announced they would not be seeking another term in 2022.
In addition, three of the House Republicans do not currently have challengers for the GOP nomination in their districts, according to Federal Election Commission filings. Those Republicans include Reps. Bacon, Garbarino and Van Drew, according to ABC News’ report.
ABC News also reported that the challengers’ campaigns against Reps. Fitzpatrick and Malliotakis are “virtually nonexistent aside from their filings for candidacy.” The challengers have not reported any money and do not have campaign websites, according to the report.
The four vulnerable Republicans include Reps. Upton, McKinley, Smith and Young. They could possibly lose if underdog challengers remind voters how the Republicans voted for a Democrat infrastructure bill.
We learned something in 2016: It didn’t matter that President Trump had a Republican Congress. What mattered was weak kneed leaders who didn’t endorse America First policies. The 2022 Primary season is going to be vital. #NewsMax pic.twitter.com/9uFbyoiwGp— Joe Gooding 💯🇺🇸 (@joegooding) November 16, 2021
Thomas Kahn, a distinguished faculty fellow at the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University, spoke with ABC News.
Kahn said voting for the infrastructure bill was a smart move for a general election but not necessarily for Republicans in their primaries:
“The problem is the Republican primary. The message of the challenger will be every vote is — and by the way, this is the message of the majority of House Republicans — that a vote for this bill is a vote for Joe Biden.”
Also need America First support in flippable Democrat Districts!— Tricia Flanagan (R-NJ) (@NewDayForNJ) November 14, 2021
I’m running in #NJ CD3 against radical Progressive Andy Kim. It’s a +3R MAGA District where Pres Trump won in 2016 & 2020.
I’m being Primaried by a RINO!
We need MAGA help to flip that seat & stave off RINOs!!! pic.twitter.com/D0aF3jlXs7
With midterm elections less than a year away, the potential challengers also have challenges themselves regarding obtaining resources or momentum to beat the Republican incumbents.
However, Kahn said there is still time for the infrastructure vote to have an impact on the midterms.
For example, ABC News reported that the campaign for Michael Blasi, who is challenging Rep. Smith in the race for New Jersey’s 4th District, has seen an uptick of both interest and financial support.
The man sitting down is a 97 year old World War 2 Vet. The other Is the commander of our local D.A.V.— Mike Blasi (@Blasi4Congress) November 15, 2021
I promised them, I will do everything I possibly can to help Make America Great Again.
All of you can help me keep that promise #AmericaFirst #NJCD4 pic.twitter.com/v27L4juIRA
Blasi’s “campaign saw social media engagement quadruple over the last week and is expecting to have the equivalent of 40% of Smith’s funding by the end of next quarter.”
Editor note: In 2020, we saw a nationwide push to “defund the police”. While we all stood here shaking our heads wondering if these people were serious… they cut billions of dollars in funding for police officers. And as a result, crime has skyrocketed – all while the same politicians who said “you don’t need guns, the government will protect you” continued their attacks on both our police officers and our Second Amendment rights.
And that’s exactly why we’re launching this national crowdfunding campaign as part of our efforts to help “re-fund the police”.
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