GOP House hopeful: Calling US a banana republic ‘an insult to Banana Republics across the country’

A Banana Republic store
AP Photo/Mark Lennihan
People walk by a Banana Republic store in New York’s Fifth Avenue shopping district.

Republican North Carolina congressional candidate Bo Hines said in a recent interview that referring to the U.S. as a banana republic is “an insult to Banana Republics across the country.”

During an appearance on the “The John Fredericks Radio Show,” Hines and Fredericks discussed the FBI’s search of former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence last week, where authorities reportedly obtained classified documents that Trump took from the White House. 

“You know, a lot of people have likened the situation that’s going on right now as, you know, they say we’re in a banana republic,” Hines told Fredericks, deploying the term commonly used to describe an unstable country that is heavily reliant on natural resources such as produce. 

“I think that’s an insult to Banana Republics across the country,” Hines said, referring to the retail clothing chain of the same name. “I mean, at least the manager of Banana Republic — unlike our president — knows where he is and why he’s there and what he’s doing.”

Hines, a former college football player, also said that it’s time for Congress to address the Department of Justice (DOJ) and FBI “head-on.”

“I mean, we have a president right now that doesn’t know where he is and know who he is or what time it is,” Hines said. “And he’s attempting to run our country at the same time this fourth unregulated branch of government, which is the FBI, the DOJ, targeting Americans every single day.”

“I mean, it’s unbelievable,” he added.  

Republicans have roundly criticized the FBI and DOJ in the wake of the Mar-a-Lago search, with many saying the move was politically motivated.

In May, Hines won the GOP nomination for North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District, where he is set to face off against state Sen. Wiley Nickel (D) in November. They are fighting to replace Rep. Ted Budd (R), who is running for the North Carolina Senate seat being vacated by the retiring Sen. Richard Burr (R). 

Nickel poked fun at the Banana Republic remarks on Monday evening, tweeting a link to a story on the interview while saying, “Sadly, this is not The Onion.”

In a statement to The Hill, Hines’s campaign said it would be “a stretch for any serious candidate to try and make an issue” out of his comments.

“It’s clear now that the American people can add ‘understand a joke’ to the ever growing list of things Democrats simply can’t comprehend; alongside the economy, public safety, education, and foreign policy … just to name just a few,” senior campaign adviser Rob Burgess said.

—Updated at 7:31 p.m.

Tags 2022 2022 midterm elections 2022 midterms Banana Republic Banana Republic Bo Hines Bo Hines Department of Justice Donald Trump FBI GAP Mar-a-Lago Mar-a-lago fbi raid Merrick Garland Richard Burr Ted Budd Ted Budd Trump
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