Republicans race for distance from ‘America First Caucus’

Republicans from various factions in the GOP are racing to distance themselves — and the party at large — from a band of hardline House conservatives whose flirtation with forming a caucus espousing white nationalist views has ignited a firestorm of controversy on Capitol Hill.

GOP leaders, anti-Trump centrists and vulnerable Republicans in battleground districts wasted little time in recent days denouncing the “America First Caucus,” whose stated purpose in a platform document included the defense of America as a nation “strengthened by a common respect for uniquely Anglo-Saxon political traditions.”

While the Republicans reportedly behind the group — including Reps. Majorie Taylor Green (Ga.) and Paul Gosar (Ariz.) — appear to have abandoned the project in the face of bipartisan criticism, their very interest has created an enormous headache for Republican leaders seeking to steer the party away from an image of racial insensitivity and appeal to a broader swath of voters, including women and minorities, in the post-Trump era.

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