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Soon-to-be unemployed Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) said in a recent interview that he “would love” to run against Donald Trump in 2024, and it doesn’t appear his statement was an attempt at self-deprecating humor.
Kinzinger recently agreed to an interview with the left-wing rag HuffPost after an unrelated documentary crew trailed him around the University of Chicago for two weeks and which culminated in an April 18 puff piece filled with syrupy praise for the former Air Force pilot, whom many critics see as a RINO of the first division.
The purpose of his speaking engagement at the U. of Chicago was, naturally, to speak on what he and so many ponderous acolytes of the Democratic Party say is the rise of disinformation coming from the political right.
“Even if he crushed me, like in a primary, to be able to stand up and call out the garbage is just a necessary thing, regardless of who it is. … I think it’d be fun,” said Kinzinger of the prospect of facing off in a primary with the former president. “I would love it. I really would,” he added.
He told the outlet that he has yet to make any firm decisions as to the next step in his career.
“I don’t know. Maybe I would have run for governor. Maybe I would have run for Senate. Who knows? But yeah, my time in the House is, mercifully, coming to an end,” he said.
“It’s like you’re taking on the world all the time,” he said. “I wouldn’t mind having a break.”
Either Kinzinger or the HuffPost failed to mention that Kinzinger’s seat in the 16th District of Illinois was effectively dissolved after the 2020 Census showed a population loss of more than 18,000 people since 2010.
The subsequent redistricting and loss of one of the state’s 18 congressional seats would mean if he decided to persevere, Kinzinger would be squaring off against 18th District Rep. Darin LaHood, also a Republican, for control of the new 16th District which would combine the territories of the two districts. Kinzinger opted to call it a day and not run for reelection.
On the prospect of seeking the highest office in the nation, the outgoing congressman told the publication, “I’ll make a decision when we get there, if there’s a need and a desire. It’s truly not anything I’m planning right now, but I’m not going to rule it out.”
He clarified, “Look, if we’re in a position, if it’s just terrible candidates and the country’s in a worse place? Maybe. But there’s no grand plan right now.”
Kinzinger went on to relate to the outlet how much noble gruel he’s ingested in his position, having drawn the ire of Trump and most conservatives for appearing gleeful in joining the Jan. 6 Committee alongside his equally-contrarian contemporary, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY).
“Everybody was just like, ‘You didn’t vote for Trump, you’re a piece of sh*t.’ And I dealt with that for four years,” he said. “And in 2020 I was like, he’s not going to win Illinois so I’ll just vote for him. But that’s a big regret. That and the first impeachment. I’m the only guy in history that didn’t vote for Trump in ’16 and did vote for him in ’20.”
Obama strategist David Axelrod told the publication that he admires Kinzinger’s approach in standing up to his own party.
“There are two ways to do that,” he said. “One is to be Marjorie Taylor Greene and light yourself on fire, and light everyone else on fire. Or you can try to cast some light. I think he’s chosen the right route. He’s a valuable guy, he’ll do fine. Plus, he’s got a newborn at home. What could be better?”
But Terry Schilling, president of the conservative American Principles Project, told HuffPost that Kinzinger is lost and without a home in the Republican Party.
“He’s on the wrong side,” he said. “It’s a movement that has been destroyed, a party that has been destroyed. The Republican Party that Adam Kinzinger grew up in doesn’t exist anymore, and so he has no constituency. He’s basically representing the Lincoln Project wing of the party, which doesn’t exist. They’re just Democrats, right?”
Evidently, Kinzinger feels it too.
“I think mentally I feel more like an independent than a Republican. If there were more Democrats like [House Majority Leader] Steny Hoyer, I could probably identify in that area, some kind of a moderate Democrat. In essence, I guess I’m still comfortable holding the Republican label for now. Because as much as people love it or hate it, the Republican Party is going to be around for a while, and it deserves to have a battle for who it is,” he concluded.
The HuffPost wrote – perhaps correctly – that few Republicans want Kinzinger to be the one taking on that battle, but likely not for the reasons the leftist rag thinks.
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