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 MurkowskiCalls for police reform sparks divisions in Congress GOP senators dodge on treatment of White House protesters GOP senator: Trump used 'the Word of God as a political prop' 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 pushes back against GOP senators' criticism of dispersal of protesters in Lafayette Square: 'You got it wrong' Trump, Biden battle to shape opinion on scenes of unrest GOP senators dodge on treatment of White House protesters MORE [Maine] is a not a moderate,” Jolly said. “Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerTrump asserts his power over Republicans Romney is only GOP senator not on new White House coronavirus task force McConnell, Romney vie for influence over Trump's trial MORE [Tenn.] is not a maverick and Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeTrump asserts his power over Republicans 'Never Trump' Republicans: Fringe, or force to be reckoned with? The Memo: Can the Never Trumpers succeed? 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) ManchinDemocratic unity starts to crack in coronavirus liability reform fight Stakes high for Collins in coronavirus relief standoff The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Surgeon General stresses need to invest much more in public health infrastructure, during and after COVID-19; Fauci hopeful vaccine could be deployed in December 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 TrumpTrump says inviting Russia to G7 'a question of common sense' Pentagon chief does not support invoking Insurrection Act Dershowitz: Does President Trump have power to declare martial law? 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.”