Rep. Adam Kinzinger: GOP must ‘take ownership for what happened’ on Jan. 6 or it will impact 2022 midterm elections

Adam Kinzinger
Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois.

  • Rep. Adam Kinzinger said that the GOP has to honestly confront what happened on Jan. 6.
  • Kinzinger said that blocking a commission won’t stop the Capitol riot from being an issue in 2022.
  • Kevin McCarthy has “failed to tell the truth” to the GOP and American voters, he said.
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GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois on Sunday said that even if a bipartisan commission to create a January 6 commission isn’t approved by the Senate, the Capitol riot will still be a factor in the 2022 midterm elections if the GOP doesn’t “take ownership for what happened.”

During an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” Kinzinger, who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump for his role in the riot and supports the commission, was asked by host Chris Wallace if the Democratic-led legislative push was a way to keep the issue in the public sphere ahead of the elections.

“Well, here’s a revelation. This is going into 2022 midterms anyway, particularly if us as Republicans don’t take ownership for what happened,” he said. “If every other day there’s a new conspiracy theory about what happened at the Capitol, anybody but what it was, then I think it’ll go into 2022.”

Kinzinger said that Republican voters have “had their patriotism abused by somebody that simply wants to use it to maintain power.”

Read more: Being a Black Republican is exhausting. But Sen. Tim Scott and other big-name conservatives say they don’t need anyone’s pity or platitudes.

When asked whether GOP House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s opposition to the commission was a conflict of interest, given his conversations with Trump regarding the riot, Kinzinger didn’t agree, but he proceeded to blast McCarthy for being dishonest.

“I wouldn’t say it’s a conflict of interest because Kevin is the leader,” he said. “There’s probably a lot of people that are going to be subject to being called in front of any investigation on this even criminal investigation, but I do think Kevin has failed to tell the truth to the Republicans and to the American people.”

He added: “It pains me to say it. It’s not like I enjoy standing up and saying this, but people, the 74 million voters that voted for Donald Trump that believe – a number of them that believe the election was stolen believe it because their leaders have not told him, otherwise.”

Kinzinger said that McCarthy’s inconsistency has been detrimental to GOP voters.

“The people they trust have either been silent or not told them the truth,” he said. “That’s where Kevin has failed because he told the truth on January 13, something around then, and then he went to Mar-a-Lago and said Donald Trump’s the leader of the party. He’s right Donald Trump is the leader of the party, but we need to tell people the truth.”

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Former Republican congressman says Kevin McCarthy will do anything ‘short of throwing his mother under the bus’ to become House speaker

Former GOP Rep. Paul Mitchell talks with CNN on Tuesday.
Former GOP Rep. Paul Mitchell talks with CNN on Tuesday.

  • Paul Mitchell said that Kevin McCarthy is backing Liz Cheney’s removal from leadership because it benefits McCarthy.
  • Mitchell argued that McCarthy wants to quell dissent to win back the House majority in 2022 and become speaker of the House.
  • “He will do almost anything to get the gavel and become speaker, short of throwing his mother under the bus,” Mitchell said.
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Former Republican congressman Paul Mitchell said that House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy is backing Rep. Liz Cheney’s removal from leadership because it benefits McCarthy’s career personally.

Mitchell, who retired last year and left the GOP over concerns with its election lies, argued that McCarthy wants to quell dissent in the caucus in order to win back the House majority in 2022 and become speaker of the House.

“Kevin’s primary interest is achieve ing the gavel, he will do almost anything to get the gavel and become speaker, short of throwing his mother under the bus,” Mitchell told CNN on Tuesday. “Unfortunately, the drive for political power for that prestige for some people is extraordinary and I think in this case it’s overwhelmed the best interests of the nation, of members of his party, and will not be long-term good for the country.”

But Mitchell predicted that even if McCarthy is successful in taking back the House majority in 2022, he won’t have enough support in his caucus to win the speakership. The former congressman argued that Republican lawmakers have decided to prioritize fealty to Trump over conservative principles and that the party is “not healthy” as a result. He added that Cheney might be successful in playing the long game and could help lead a post-Trump GOP sometime in the future.

Politico’s Rachel Bade noted on Tuesday that Mitchell publicly announced his retirement shortly after McCarthy dismissed his concerns about Trump telling Democratic congresswomen of color who are from America to “go back” to their countries.

Mitchell, who represented a deep-red district and voted for Trump in November, said he left the GOP and became an independent late last year in response to his colleagues’ lies about the 2020 election. McCarthy stripped Mitchell of his committee assignments shortly after.

“I believe that raw political considerations, not constitutional or voting integrity concerns, motivate many in party leadership to support the “stop the steal” efforts,” Mitchell wrote in a December letter to party leaders. “As elected members of Congress, we take an oath to ‘support and defend the Constitution of the United States,’ not to preserve and protect the political interests of any individual, be it the president or anyone else, to the detriment of our cherished nation.”

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Pollster Frank Luntz says Trump’s ‘big lie’ may cost Republicans the House in 2022

frank luntz 2022 midterms
Political consultant and pollster Frank Luntz.

  • Donald Trump could ruin the GOP’s chances at retaking the House in 2022, according to Frank Luntz.
  • The longtime pollster said Trump’s “big lie” could hurt turnout among conservatives.
  • “What Donald Trump is saying is actually telling people it’s not worth it to vote,” Luntz said.
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Frank Luntz, a longtime pollster and political messaging consultant, issued a bold prediction in a recent podcast interview.

“Okay, I haven’t said this before,” Luntz told New York Times columnist and Recode co-founder Kara Swisher on her podcast “Sway.”

“This could cost the Republicans the majority in the House in 2022,” Luntz said. “What Donald Trump is saying is actually telling people it’s not worth it to vote. Donald Trump single-handedly may cause people not to vote. And he may be the greatest tool in the Democrats’ arsenal to keep control of the House and Senate in 2022.”

Although many pundits think the GOP has a great chance at regaining the House in 2022 after taking back 13 seats from Democrats in 2020, Luntz argued Trump’s “big lie” that the 2020 election was stolen will suppress turnout among the base.

As Insider’s Grace Panetta reported recently, many of the recent voting restriction bills in Republican majority state legislatures address specific Trumpian grievances, but they won’t necessarily help the GOP win elections.

Luntz has been conducting various focus groups for decades and cut his teeth as Pat Buchanan’s pollster in the 1992 presidential race. He’s also credited with coining terms such as “death taxes” and “government takeover of healthcare,” but he no longer identifies as a Republican.

This week, Fox News host Tucker Carlson took aim at Luntz and Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy for being roommates.

When Swisher asked Luntz if Trump could win the Republican nomination or even return to the White House after the 2024 election, the ex-GOP pollster gave another firm prediction.

“If Donald Trump runs for president as a Republican, he’s the odds-on favorite to win the nomination,” he said. “He could never win a general election, but I can’t imagine losing a Republican primary. That’s how significant he is within the GOP. And yet he’s lost all of those crossover voters that would deny him the chance to win in a general election.”

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