Kinzinger’s retirement underscores Trump’s dominance over the GOP

Rep. Adam KinzingerAdam Daniel KinzingerNewman announces she will challenge Democrat Casten in the newly drawn Illinois district. The Hill’s 12:30 Report – Presented by Facebook – Biden does not discuss abortion with Pope Francis Trump and says Kinzinger’s retirement: ‘2 down, 8 left’ MOREs (R-Ill.) announcement that he is retiring after his current term marks the recent victory in the former. President TrumpDonald Trump Candidates suing Pennsylvania county sent hundreds of ballot papers to the wrong address. Harris makes one last pitch for McAuliffe Overnight Defense & National Security – Biden discusses Afghanistan, submarine deals in Europe MOREs quest to purge his internal critics of the GOP and shape the Republican Party even more in his own image.

Kinzinger’s Friday statement, along with stiff primary challenges faced by other Republicans who voted for Trump’s federal lawsuit earlier this year, underscores the headwinds critics of the former president face in their re-election bid – and exactly how the Trumpian House GOP conference is expected to begin in 2023. the probable absence of at least some of his opponents.

“From a victory standpoint, yes, it’s great because it continues to reinforce the fact that President Trump is the straw that touches the drink,” a GOP strategist said. “And that’s not changing for the time being.”

To be sure, redistribution may have played a role in Kinzinger’s decision not to run for a seventh term. New congressional cards awaiting Governor JB Pritzker’s (D-Ill.) Signature would have put Kinzinger and Rep. Darin LaHoodDarin McKay LaHoodKinzinger’s retirement underscores Trump’s dominance over GOP Newman announces she will challenge Democrat Casten in the newly drawn Illinois district. Trump says Kinzinger’s retirement: ‘2 down, 8 left’ MORE (R), which he is close to, in the same district, which increases the prospect of an ugly primary primary election.

Kinzinger also hinted in his announcement Friday that he was not done in politics, as rumors swirl that he is looking at either a challenge to Pritzker or Sen. Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthCongress can help save pregnant women and colored mothers Adopting the Roadside Protection Act can help avoid a recurrence of meaningless tragedies The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Budget negotiators: 72 hours and counting MORE (D).

However, he had increasingly found himself on a sparsely populated island in the House because of his reprimands of Trump – a truth he alluded to in his announcement without mentioning the former president by name.

Kinzinger is among the most vocal GOP critics of Trump and one of two Republicans along with Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyKinzinger announces he will not seek re-election The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Biden does not get what he wanted until next week’s election January 6 committee grants adjournments to Jeffrey Clark, Dan Scavino MORE (R-Wyo.), Sits on the special House panel examining the January 6 uprising and the former president’s role in encouraging it.

While the 10 lawmakers who voted to silence Trump saw their national profiles 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 GonzalezTrump claims Kinzinger’s retirement: ‘2 down, 8 left’ Kinzinger announces he will not seek re-election. The 9 Republicans who voted to keep Bannon in contempt for Congress MORE (R-Ohio), which was also considered a rising party star. And most of the remaining eight legislators face serious primary challenges.

That, along with the isolation some of these Republicans are facing within the House of Representatives conference, is fueling speculation that even more retirements are coming.

“Some of these people expect me to run lost cause campaigns, but those with open eyes know it’s over,” the GOP strategist said. “I would still expect some more retirements from that group of 10.”

“Some of them are more than others on the outside of their own caucus. They do not have the support of their fellow members. Can they really get something done that they really would like to get done anyway?” added the person. “It’s a question that I imagine many of them ask themselves.”

Another factor that may be pushing other Republicans who are supporters of the Supreme Court against retiring is the growing setback they are expected to get from Trump himself.

The former president is heavily invested in ousting Cheney and has supported some challengers to other Republicans who voted for his ouster, a support brand that serves as an important boost in GOP primary elections across the country.

Trump stepped up football shortly after Kinzinger’s announcement Friday, exclaiming in a statement, “2 down, 8 left!”

“It’s a huge victory for Trump,” a Trumpworld agent said of Kinzinger’s retirement. “Of all the Supreme Court justices, the three most important races were Tony Gonzalez, Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger. And two of the three are already out.”

The pressure from Trump, who is almost universally recognized as the de facto leader of the GOP, may increase even more on those who remain in office when others announce their resignation.

“Where Kinzinger and Gonzalez leave helping Trump is a bit of a numbers game,” another Republican strategist said. “If you have 20 people who do not like Trump, well, it’s like a mole. How does he go after all 20? He can not. There is strength in numbers. So while they are declining, he is able to concentrate on the people who are left. “

Nor lost on strategists is the effect that the squeeze on the pro-impeachment Republicans has on the rest of the House of Representatives GOP.

Not only is the widespread campaign against the group of 10 a warning sign to potential critics, but any retirement or defeat inflicted by Trump’s goals will leave a chamber even more filled with those who meet the former president’s demands for loyalty, especially as he considers a third presidential election in 2024.

“I think there will be a bit more respect for him because it will remove some of these critics,” the other strategist said. “I also think they will be more reverent 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 GOP will potentially be a Trump tier than it is now, if at all possible,” GOP strategist Doug Heye added bluntly in a text.

Meanwhile, the remaining GOP moderates in the House are back and considering their future as they watch their allies slowly being picked out.

“I think my immediate reaction is disappointment,” an aide to a member of the Republican House allied with Kinzinger said of the announcement of retirement. “I see Congressman Kinzinger as someone who is firmly here for the right reasons, a person here who is actually interested in doing the work of his constituents while translating it into what is best for the country.”

The aide said centrists can keep themselves in the fold by calling out their police and telling the truth to their constituents. But, the person added, moderates are aware of the challenges they face in relation to their relationship with Trump and his influence on their conference.

“I understand well that the Donald Trump factor is very much in play. I think you have some members who are afraid of him,” the source said. “They are afraid that ‘if I do not agree with it , he says he will come after me on Twitter ‘or whatever the hell he’s using as a platform these days. I think they are worried about that. “

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