If anyone thought U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz was worried about plans by hardcore anti-Trump, pro-impeachment House colleague and Air Force vet Adam Kinzinger (R -Ill.) to oust him from office, the self-described Florida Man and tenacious Donald Trump supporter set the record straight on Twitter.
He also subsequently claimed that Kinzinger might be harboring some personal animosity for the ex-president unrelated to the impeachment proceedings.
“Adam is a patriot who fought for America from Northwest Florida. We will always appreciate & honor his service. Now, he wants to target my America First politics, referencing me by name. My response: F*****g bring it. Adam needs PACs to win elections. I don’t.” Gaetz declared. Gaetz has previously disavowed accepting any campaign contributions from PACs.
Kinzinger has set up the so-called Country First Political Action Committee to boost candidates that will return to what he deems “conservative” policies, which many on the populist, pro-Trump right might derisively call Conservative Inc., or the establishment wing of the Republican Party, exemplified by he and Liz Cheney, among others. Presumably, the organization would mount primary challenges against office holders who backed Trump.
Whether the Country First PAC turns out to be the Lincoln Project 2.0 remains to be seen, although it’s difficult to discern how Kinzinger’s effort would gain many converts, given that the American First philosophy is still on the ascendancy even with Trump out of office.
Adam is a patriot who fought for America from Northwest Florida.
We will always appreciate & honor his service.
Now, he wants to target my America First politics, referencing me by name.
Fucking bring it.
Adam needs PACs to win elections.
I don’t. https://t.co/TE9TPt6QJv
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) February 11, 2021
It’s Country First vs. American First in a fight for what Kinzinger considers the soul of the party.
Gaetz, one of President Trump’s strongest allies in Congress, wants to rid the party of pro-impeachment Cheney and other establishment, globalist politicians. Many of them favor endless overseas war and presided over shipping American jobs overseas and the hollowing out of the U.S. manufacturing base, among other things.
The Florida Man backs politicians who embrace Trump’s America First agenda that actually expanded the GOP base in the last two election cycles.
Nearly 75 million people voted for Trump in 2020, the most of any Republican candidate.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) February 11, 2021
In a media interview, Kinzinger described the GOP as broken, however, and identified Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene as potential political targets for the PAC, claiming that both them were just in it for the stardom “I think neither of them believes the stuff they ascribe to, they just want fame,” Kinzinger insisted.
Gaetz claims however, that Kinzinger was allegedly seeking some fame for himself, implying that he developed hard feelings for Donald Trump when he didn’t get a promotion from the-then POTUS.
“@RepKinzinger wasn’t a *never* Trumper. He wanted to be President Trump’s Secretary of the Air Force & sought my support for the role, which (at the time) I unsuccessfully gave. When he wasn’t selected, his views on Trump…well you see…”
Pls thank your son for his service.@RepKinzinger wasn’t a *never* Trumper. He wanted to be President Trump’s Secretary of the Air Force & sought my support for the role, which (at the time) I unsuccessfully gave.
When he wasn’t selected, his views on Trump…well you see… https://t.co/HgF4CMwlvV
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) February 11, 2021
It wouldn’t be the first instance that personal rivalries or a bruised ego masqueraded as policy differences especially because politicians typically have their eye on the next job. Moreover, Kinzinger is getting a lot of face time in the liberal media for bashing Trump and calling for the U.S. Senate to convict the now private citizen in the impeachment trial.
Rep. Kinzinger responded to Gaetz with a Gif from the movie Top Gun, which is pretty clever. He and other Never Trumpers may be operating in an alternate reality, however, by assuming that there is a large constituency or sufficient grassroots support behind anti-Trump Republicans.
Against this backdrop, about 100 anti-Trump Republicans supposedly are giving serious consideration to setting up a center-right third party that would counter America First candidates by either running against them or endorsing others, be they Republicans, independents or Democrats.
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