Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) said of Trump, “I’m an American before I’m a Republican… How can I support that (Trump)?”
Watch CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer clip here:
— The Situation Room (@CNNSitRoom) August 3, 2016
“And when I see a frontrunner or actually a nominee now that throws all of these Republican principles on their head, that a president who has almost unchecked power in foreign policy who talks about how great Vladimir Putin is and he doesn’t even know the Russians are in Ukraine, makes fun of the disabled, and the whole litany of things from the Gold Star family and on, for me personally and I’m not trying to say for other people that you can’t, how can I support that,” Kinzinger said earnestly.
“Because he has crossed so many red lines that a Commander in Chief or a candidate for Commander in Chief should never cross. A tough position for me to be in.”
This is called integrity. Kinzinger is not in an endangered seat according to Cook Political Report’s chart and he won his reelection in 2014 62%-38%.
So there doesn’t appear to be a political motive for this call to integrity other than he seems to present himself as a moderate Republican, whatever that means these days. I think it means you’re not crazy, but the grading curve is very steep. Kingzinger is said to have higher aspirations, and if so, he’s playing this right.
But his motives or lack thereof aren’t the issue – this is not an issue of policy but of character and integrity. Even if he’s only doing this for the long haul, it shows good judgment and it’s not easy to do.
This is the kind of Republican the party should be advancing, people who can wrap the message in a palatable exterior. The country would be well served if Kingzinger and his ilk were to take control of the Republican Party.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.