Outgoing Rep. Bob Inglis (R-S.C.) said Thursday that a "credible conservative" movement that doesn't focus on "hatred" of President Obama is needed.
Inglis was defeated in a landslide by Trey GowdyTrey GowdyTrey Gowdy sets goal of avoiding ideological echo chamber with Fox News show Fox News signs Trey Gowdy, Dan Bongino for new shows Pompeo rebukes Biden's new foreign policy MORE in the June primary runoff. Gowdy, a staunch conservative and Tea Party favorite, went on to win the 4th District seat in November.
Inglis lamented on CNN that the current wave of populist conservatism is unlike that of Ronald Reagan.
"We'll get through and we'll get back to optimistic conservatism," he said. "We just got to get through this unfortunate period."
The congressman said he was wounded in his campaign by not joining "in the real bitterness toward the president."
"I don't call him a socialist because he's not," he said. "I don't doubt that he was born in Hawaii because he was. I don't call him a Muslim because he says he's a Christian. And I didn't say anything about death panels because there weren't any in that health care bill."
Inglis said he disagreed with Obama on a number of policy issues, "but I don't need to join in this hatred of the man."
"I believe if you're going to lead a credible conservative movement, you got to start with credible information," he said. "...I'm a conservative with better ideas, and I can serve the country by presenting those ideas and being credible not attacking him."
Inglis said that the attacks and questions of Obama's patriotism were getting in the way of policy fixes such as Rep. Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanPaul Ryan researched narcissistic personality disorder after Trump win: book Paul Ryan says it's 'really clear' Biden won election: 'It was not rigged. It was not stolen' Democrats fret over Trump-district retirements ahead of midterms MORE's (R-Wisc.) plans for Medicare and Social Security.
"How are we going to get to that if we're embroiled in this mosh pit about where we maul each other about whether he's a socialist and a secret Muslim and whatever when we should be saying is, listen, you disagree with him," he said. "We conservatives have better ideas that will really work. But we don't need to attack him as a person."