Rep. Adam kinzingerAdam Daniel KinzingerNewman Announces He Will Challenge Fellow Democrat Casten in Newly Drawn Illinois District 12:30 PM Report from The Hill – Presented by Facebook – Biden Doesn’t Discuss Abortion with Pope Francis Trump Touts Kinzinger Retirement: ‘2 down, 8 to go ‘MOREThe announcement (R-Ill.) That he will retire after his current tenure marks the latest victory in the former President TrumpDonald Trump Candidates Sue After Pennsylvania County Sent Hundreds Of Ballots To Wrong Addresses Harris Makes One Last Pitch For McAuliffe Overnight Defense & National Security – Biden Speaks On Afghanistan, Submarine Deals In Europe MOREThe quest to purge his internal critics from the Republican Party and further mold the Republican Party in his own image.
Kinzinger’s announcement Friday, along with the tough primary challenges facing other Republicans who voted for Trump’s impeachment earlier this year, underscores the headwinds that critics of the former president face in his re-election offers, and how Trump’s House Republican conference is expected to begin in 2023. in the likely absence of at least some of his detractors.
“From a victory standpoint, yeah, it’s great, because it continues to reinforce the fact that President Trump is the last straw,” said one Republican strategist. “And that’s not going to change anytime soon.”
To be sure, redistricting may have influenced Kinzinger’s decision not to run for a seventh term. New Congressional maps awaiting Governor JB Pritzker (D-Ill.) Signature would have put Kinzinger and Rep. Darin LaHoodDarin McKay LaHood Illinois Redistricting Proposal Creates New Hispanic Seat, Sets Member vs. Member Contests Illinois Democrats Propose New ‘Maximized’ Congressional Map The United States must support Lebanon as it faces economic and political instability MORE (R), with whom he is close, in the same district, which raises the possibility of an unpleasant primary between incumbents and incumbents.
Kinzinger, in his announcement Friday, also hinted that he was not finished in politics, as rumors circulate that he is considering challenging Pritzker or the Sen. Tammy duckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy Duckworth Congress can help save pregnant women and mothers of color Passing the Roadside First Responders Protection Act can help prevent a repeat of senseless tragedies The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Budget negotiators: 72 hours and counting MORE (D).
Yet he had increasingly found himself on a sparsely populated island in the House for his rebuke of Trump, a truth he alluded to in his announcement without mentioning the former president by name.
Kinzinger is among the most vociferous Republican critics of Trump and one of the two Republicans, along with Rep. Liz cheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyKinzinger Announces She Will Not Seek Re-election The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented By Facebook – Biden Doesn’t Get What He Wanted Before Next Week’s Election On January 6 Committee Grants Postponements To Jeffrey Clark, Dan Scavino MORE (R-Wyoming), sitting on the special House panel investigating the January 6 uprising and the former president’s role in inciting it.
While the 10 lawmakers who voted to impeach Trump saw their national profile rise, leading to an increase in fundraising for some of them, their criticism has also put them in political danger.
Kinzinger is the second of 10 to announce an early retirement, after Rep. Anthony GonzalezAnthony Gonzalez Trump touts Kinzinger’s retirement: ‘2 down, 8 to go’ Kinzinger announces he will not seek reelection The 9 Republicans who voted to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress MORE (R-Ohio), who was also thought to be a rising party star. And most of the remaining eight legislators face serious primary challenges.
That, coupled with the isolation some of those Republicans are facing within the Republican House of Representatives conference, is sparking speculation that even more retirements are coming.
“I hope that some of these people run lost cause campaigns, but those with open eyes know it’s over,” said the Republican strategist. “I’m still looking forward to a few more retirements from that group of 10.”
“Some of them, more than others, are outside their own group. They do not have the support of their peers. Can they really do something that they would really like to do anyway? “added the person.” That’s a question I imagine a lot of them are asking themselves. “
Another factor possibly pushing other Republicans in favor of impeachment into retirement is the growing backlash they are expected to receive from Trump himself.
The former president is strongly committed to ousting Cheney and has endorsed some challengers from other Republicans who voted to overthrow him, a badge of support that serves as a key boost in Republican primaries across the country.
Trump fired the ball shortly after Kinzinger’s announcement on Friday, exclaiming in a statement: “2 down, 8 to go!”
“This is a great victory for Trump,” a Trumpworld operative said of Kinzinger’s retirement. “Of all the boys in impeachment, the top three races were Tony Gonzalez, Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger. And two of those three have already come out. ”
That pressure from Trump, who is almost universally recognized as the de facto leader of the Republican Party, could further increase on those who remain in office while others announce their departure.
“What helps Trump get Kinzinger and Gonzalez out is that it’s a numbers game,” said a second Republican strategist. “If you have 20 people running who don’t like Trump, well, it’s like hitting a mole. How are you doing after 20? Can not. There is strength in numbers. So as they decline, he can focus on the people who are left. “
Also not lost on strategists is the effect the Republican pro-impeachment tweak is having on the rest of the House Republican Party.
Not only is the extensive campaign against the Gang of 10 a red flag to would-be critics, but any withdrawal or defeat suffered by Trump’s targets will leave behind a chamber filled with even more of those meeting the Trump’s demand for loyalty. former president, particularly as he considers a third presidential candidacy in 2024.
“I think there will be a little more deference to him because he will eliminate some of those critics,” said the second strategist. “I also think they will be more respectful because he will be on stage again in 2024, and they will be worried about having him on the wrong side of them that year.”
“The House Republican Party will potentially be more Trump than it is now, if that’s possible,” Republican strategist Doug Heye added bluntly in a text.
Meanwhile, the remaining Republican moderates in the House are left pondering their future as they watch their allies slowly being eliminated.
“I think my immediate reaction is disappointment,” said an aide to a Republican member of the House allied with Kinzinger of the retirement announcement. “I see Congressman Kinzinger as someone who is firmly here for the right reasons, someone here who is really interested in doing the job of his constituents and at the same time translating it into what is best for the country.”
The aide said centrists can stay in the fold by promoting their vigilance and telling the truth to their constituents. But, the person added, moderates have clear eyes on the challenges they face in their relationship with Trump and their impact on his conference.
“I understand that the Donald Trump factor is very much at stake. I think there are some members who are afraid of him, ”said the source. “They are afraid that ‘if I don’t agree with what he says, he will come after me on Twitter’ or whatever he is using as a platform these days. I think they are worried about that. “