Former Republican representative Carlos Curbelo, who served as the U.S. representative for Florida’s 26th congressional district from 2015 to 2019, has criticized his party for pushing former president Donald Trump’s fictions about the elections, saying that his colleagues have become “engulfed in lies and fear.”
“Here we only have two [political parties] and in order for one to be able to hold the other accountable, it has to be viable. It has to have credibility. With a majority of the voters in the country, it has to be a reasonable choice for most people,” Curbelo said in remarks as part of the nonpartisan debate series IntelligenceSquared U.S. “And the problem we have today in our democracy is that the Republican Party is losing that position. Why? Because it has lost its way. Because it’s a party engulfed in lies and in fear.”
Curbelo’s comments come as the Republican Party continues to wrestle with their loyalty to Trump even after he left office. Trump was impeached for inciting an insurrection against Congress after he ordered his supporters to march on the Capitol and disrupt the electoral certification of President Joe Biden‘s win. Five people were killed in the storming of the Capitol, including a police officer who later died of his injuries. The Senate later acquitted him of the charge after lawmakers failed to secure the two-thirds majority required to convict.
“Most congressional Republicans will acknowledge this privately,” Curbelo said. “And again, that’s the problem, that people aren’t telling the camera what they’re telling their friends. Why? Because Donald Trump converted the Republican Party into a personal club to advance his interests and even to question or to challenge free and fair election results. And in doing so, incited a riot that resulted in the defiling of one of the greatest structures in the history of democratic government and in the death of five people.”
“If we’re going to have an honest conversation about the Republican Party, we have to confront this crisis, this cancer that is preventing a lot of Republicans, not all, from telling people the truth, from being honest with the voters, and from serving with decency,” he concluded.
You can listen to his remarks in the video below.
Trump has been living at his Mar-a-Lago Florida estate since leaving office and has reportedly been considering a run in 2024, a move that could further fracture the Republican Party. He has continued to assert that the 2020 election was fraudulent. There is no evidence that the election was compromised.