Kinzinger: GOP ‘Is Not a Trump-First Party — This Is a Country-First Party’

Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” declared that the Republican Party was not a “Trump-first party.”

Anchor Chuck Todd said, “This is going to be a lonely effort for a while, I imagine. There are some folks that are wondering is the Republican Party tied to Donald Trump, can that party survive?”

Kinzinger said, “So I think that’s the question. I was disappointed over the last few weeks to see what seemed like the Republican Party waking up and then falling asleep again and saying what matters is if we can win in two years and we don’t want to tick off the base. All we’re doing is saying what does it take to get re-elected. It’s January of a new term we have to remind people, the kid born in the inner city should have the same opportunity as the kid born in the richest suburb. That’s what we’re standing for. This is an opportunity for folks to join that believe putting the country over party.”

Todd said, “I want to put up a photo that was incredibly striking. Kevin McCarthy, the House Republican Leader with the former president at Mar-a-Lago. What was amazing to me, Congressman Kinzinger, it was the former president wanting to rush that photo out. In an incredible moment of weakness, he was worried nobody wanted to be with him. Here is Kevin McCarthy saying no, no, no, we wanted to be with you, and he rushed it out. Is it self-reinforcing, the party has now retied itself to Donald Trump?”

Kinzinger said, “I think your point about that picture is important. It shows that the former president is desperate to continue to look like he’s leading the party, and the problem is until we push back and say this is not a Trump-first party, this is a country-first party. In some cases, you may support Donald Trump in that effort. In my case, I believe that’s a whole new movement. Until we all kind of stand up and say that, we’re going to be kind of chasing our tail here in this situation. That’s why I launched Countryfirst.com. It’s a landing place for people to go through. There are a lot of folks that have texted me, called me, written that say thank you for saying something because nobody else has been.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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