Ex-GOP lawmaker: 'There is no moderate wing of the Republican Party'

Former Rep. David Jolly (R-Fla.) tore into the GOP on Friday after Republican senators overwhelmingly voted to advance the embattled Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh.

Jolly, appearing on HBO’s “Real Time With Bill Maher,” on Friday night, said there is no “moderate wing” of the Republican Party.


“The important part here about the enthusiasm spike among Republicans is that it is among Republicans, it is not among independents,” Jolly said. “Republicans are now more excited but among the independents, you know what they learned today? There is no moderate wing of the Republican Party. That was the message they learned today.”

Jolly's comments came after only one Republican — Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiOvernight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Walmart to stop selling e-cigarettes | Senators press FDA to pull most e-cigarettes immediately | House panel tees up e-cig hearing for next week Bipartisan group of senators urges FDA to pull most e-cigarettes immediately Sinema touts bipartisan record as Arizona Democrats plan censure vote MORE (Alaska) — said she would vote against Kavanaugh’s nomination.

Jolly told Maher that the controversy surrounding Kavanaugh’s nomination, including several allegations of sexual misconduct, is encouraging more GOP voters to turn out during November’s midterms. The former congressman specifically called out several Republican senators who are often considered “moderate” members of their party, but who voted with the GOP bloc to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination.

Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsTrump judicial picks face rare GOP opposition GOP signals unease with Barr's gun plan Sinema touts bipartisan record as Arizona Democrats plan censure vote MORE [Maine] is a not a moderate,” Jolly said. “Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerTrump announces, endorses ambassador to Japan's Tennessee Senate bid Meet the key Senate player in GOP fight over Saudi Arabia Trump says he's 'very happy' some GOP senators have 'gone on to greener pastures' MORE [Tenn.] is not a maverick and Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeFlake donates to Democratic sheriff being challenged by Arpaio in Arizona The Hill's Morning Report - Trump says US-China trade talks to resume, hails potential trade with Japan, UK Joe Arpaio to run for Maricopa County sheriff in 2020  MORE [Ariz.] is not going to be the next president of the United States. There is no moderate wing of the Republican Party, so Republicans might be more excited over Kavanaugh.”

Collins said Friday that she would support Kavanaugh’s nomination, just before red-state Democrat Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinO'Rourke gun confiscation talk alarms Democrats Clarence Thomas, Joe Manchin, Rudy Giuliani among guests at second state visit under Trump Schumer: I don't know any 'Democrat who agrees' with O'Rourke on gun seizures MORE (W.Va.) said he would do the same, clinching the votes the judge needed to be confirmed during Saturday’s vote.

She gave a roughly 45-minute speech on the Senate floor explaining her decision.

Corker and Flake, who initially were undecided in their votes, both announced this week that they would boost Kavanaugh’s nomination.

Murkowski told reporters she had "wrestled" with the nomination, which she called the "most difficult" decision she has had to make.

"I believe that Brett Kavanaugh is a good man," Murkowski told reporters Friday. "I believe he is a good man. It just may be that in my view he's not the right man for the court at this time."

Jolly has emerged as a vocal critic of President TrumpDonald John TrumpAlaska Republican Party cancels 2020 primary Ukrainian official denies Trump pressured president Trump goes after New York Times, Washington Post: 'They have gone totally CRAZY!!!!' MORE and the modern Republican Party since he lost his reelection bid last year.

He urged voters earlier this year to flip the House of Representatives to a Democratic majority in the midterms if they want to address the issue of gun control.

“And so if this is the issue that defines your ideology as a voter, there are two things I would suggest tonight. First, flip the House. Flip the House,” Jolly said after the Parkland, Fla., high school shooting. “Republicans are not going to do a single thing after this shooting we saw today. But I would also offer to Democrats, work for incremental wins.”