Retiring Republican: The new party litmus test is anger and loyalty to Trump

Retiring Rep. Charlie DentCharles (Charlie) Wieder DentCNN celebrates correspondents' weekend with New Orleans-themed brunch The Hill's Morning Report - Government is funded, but for how long? Ex-GOP lawmaker says his party is having a 'Monty Python' moment on shutdown MORE (R-Pa.) on Sunday lamented that Republican representatives must be "angry and aggrieved" to prove their loyalty to the party. 

"You know, before Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: 'I will not let Iran have nuclear weapons' Rocket attack hits Baghdad's Green Zone amid escalating tensions: reports Buttigieg on Trump tweets: 'I don't care' MORE became president, the litmus test for Republicans was — it was really about the ideological purity and conformity. Now the litmus test has changed. The issue is loyalty to the man, to the president. And for some, you know, loyalty is not enough, you have to be angry and aggrieved," Dent said on ABC's "This Week."

"I've often said to some folks around here that if I set myself on fire for them they would complain that the flame, that the temperature of the flame isn't hot enough," he continued.


Dent, who was first elected to the House in 2004, announced earlier this year he will not seek reelection in 2018. He has been critical of his own party under Trump, and was a vocal opponent of Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore.

Dent, who also co-chairs the moderate Tuesday Group, on Sunday lamented the lack of bipartisanship in Congress in recent years. He said some representatives have “taken saying 'no' to an art form.”

"I mean that's what we're dealing with now, it's not about ideology anymore. It's about loyalty to the president. And the president doesn't always inspire party loyalty," Dent said.

Dent added that Trump may help some Republicans on the campaign trail in 2018, and hurt others. He said he expects it to be “a tough year” for Republicans.