Maine Grassroots Republicans Say GOP ‘Big Tent’ Fails to Include Them

Senator Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine, listens during a Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, June 10, 2020. The hearing examines the government's virus relief package that offers emergency assistance to small businesses. Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg
Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty

The chairman of the Maine Grassroots Republican Caucus (MGRC) said that while the state GOP is touting its “big tent” philosophy, it has yet to communicate with the grassroots Trump supporters whose focus is freedom, faith, and family.

The MGRC, a group of about 25 conservative Maine Republicans, including six county chairmen and state committee members, broke with the state GOP just one day after it voted to reject censuring Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) for her vote to impeach former President Donald Trump.

In response to the Maine GOP’s decision to reject censuring her, Fox News reported Collins said, “Today’s decision is a testament to the Republican Party’s ‘big tent’ philosophy that respects different views but unites around core principles.”

In addition, NEWS CENTER Maine reported Thursday that state GOP Chairwoman Dr. Demi Kouzounas said, “The Republican Party prides itself on its ‘Big Tent’ philosophy and will continue to work with all groups who are dedicated to electing Republicans from the School Board to the White House.”

MGRC Chair John DeVeau, however, told Breitbart News, “While we may have a ‘big tent’ philosophy, communications are non-existent.”

“The distrust among the ‘Grand Ole Party’ and Republicans is as obvious in Maine as it is nationally,” he continued. “It takes leadership to accept the fact that there are new ideas that need to be implemented and empower those to make things happen. Leadership is a 24-hour-a-day job, not a part-time side hustle. It’s tiresome and taxing, which is also why most great leaders want to move on after a few years and pass the mantle on to someone they have trained throughout their tenure.”

DeVeau’s comments come about a month after the Piscataquis County Republican Committee became the second county GOP committee to censure Collins over her vote to convict Trump. In March, Aroostook County Republicans, Collins’ home county, voted to censure her as well.

The committee voted at the last meeting to send a letter of Censure to Senator Susan Collins. It is on the way.

Posted by Red County Republicans Piscataquis Maine on Thursday, April 22, 2021

According to the Bangor Daily News, the Piscataquis County Republicans not only criticized Collins for her impeachment vote, but also for her 2017 vote against partial repeal of the Affordable Care Act and her support for some gun control measures, including expanded background checks for individuals who purchase firearms.

“The Grassroots Caucus sees the party’s continued attempts of the same thing, with the same leadership hoping to get a different outcome as unobtainable without garnering support from the grassroots, disenfranchised and unenrolled voters,” DeVeau said.

The caucus chair, a former Caribou lawmaker and current Aroostook County Republican Chair, added his members are “being punished for asking questions, stating facts, and holding our elected representatives accountable.”

“We supported President Trump,” DeVeau asserted. “Defended President Trump from those within our party, and look what that has gotten us.”

“The Maine Grassroots Republican Caucus is no more than a group of strong willed, faith-based, freedom loving, family protectors who will not give in, nor give up on those who feel they have no voice,” he said.

“Our belief is our party will strengthen through our working together,” DeVeau added. “We will fail in 2022 if Republican leadership and the GOP are unwilling to open the lines of communication, work toward a stronger party and unify with us in our common goal.”

“We stand ready to work together,” he said. “Will the GOP?”

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