Former Republican Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois recently aired his grievances towards House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in an interview.
Kinzinger described McCarthy as an individual who prioritizes his own self-interest over the greater good. Kinzinger was critical of McCarthy’s actions and accused him of being willing to do whatever it takes to hold onto power.
Kinzinger’s Contentious Relationship During His Last Term
Kinzinger had a contentious relationship with the party during his last term in office.
He openly expressed criticism of former President Trump. He was one of the rare Republican members of the House committee established to investigate the January 6th insurrection.
These recent remarks by Kinzinger occurred shortly after McCarthy’s election as Speaker of the House, a position he attained after a prolonged vote and concessions to the more conservative faction of the party.
Kinzinger completed his tenure in Congress last week as he opted not to seek re-election.
Resign now https://t.co/odTYhpca2K
— Adam Kinzinger #fella (@AdamKinzinger) January 11, 2023
According to Kinzinger, the more extreme members of the party have been able to benefit politically by aligning themselves with figures like McCarthy. As an example, he cited Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, who has been a vocal supporter of McCarthy.
Kinzinger argued these firebrands often receive preferential treatment, such as more favorable committee assignments, due to their willingness to be confrontational.
He stated, “if you’re willing to toe the party line, regardless of how controversial or divisive it may be, you’ll be rewarded for it.”
Kinzinger Expressed His Disdain Towards McCarthy
During his interview, Kinzinger expressed his disdain towards McCarthy, calling him a “completely unacceptable” leader.
He also expressed skepticism that McCarthy would take any action against a controversial representative like George Santos of New York, despite calls for him to be removed from his committee assignments, due to the party’s slim majority in the chamber.
Kinzinger stated it was a “sad reality” that McCarthy would “say or do anything to maintain his position of power.”
Representative Santos has faced heavy criticism from both Republicans and Democrats over allegations of falsifying large portions of his professional background, as well as investigations into his financial disclosures, campaign finances, and unresolved legal issues.
Lying about your entire life to gain election to office for 700,000 people is desperate, sick, and worthy of an immediate resignation. There is absolutely no excuse, and there is no comparison to anyone in modern history. @Santos4Congress don’t just “RESIGN-ISH”, RESIGN NOW.
— Adam Kinzinger #fella (@AdamKinzinger) January 12, 2023
Despite the controversies, McCarthy defended Santos’s position in Congress, acknowledging he still has to regain the trust of the public.
Kinzinger, on the other hand, expressed a contrasting opinion, stating while exaggerating certain aspects of one’s resume is questionable, creating a completely fabricated life is a completely different matter.
According to Kinzinger, McCarthy would likely have taken action to remove Santos from committees under normal circumstances, but the Republican Party’s slim majority in the House has forced him to keep Santos on board.
Kinzinger believes McCarthy is unwilling to risk losing Santos’ vote, which could potentially tip the balance of power in the chamber.