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 MurkowskiWhy Biden's Interior Department isn't shutting down oil and gas Biden signs bill to bolster crime victims fund Bipartisan group says it's still on track after setback on Senate floor 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 CollinsTransit funding, broadband holding up infrastructure deal The Hill's Morning Report - Infrastructure vote fails; partisan feud erupts over Jan. 6 panel Senate falling behind on infrastructure MORE [Maine] is a not a moderate,” Jolly said. “Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerCheney set to be face of anti-Trump GOP How leaving Afghanistan cancels our post-9/11 use of force The unflappable Liz Cheney: Why Trump Republicans have struggled to crush her  MORE [Tenn.] is not a maverick and Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeBiden nominates former Sen. Tom Udall as New Zealand ambassador Biden to nominate Jane Hartley as UK ambassador: report The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Goldman Sachs - Voting rights will be on '22, '24 ballots 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 ManchinJoe ManchinTo break the corporate tax logjam, tax overinflated CEO pay Six months in, two challenges could define Biden's presidency DACA court ruling puts weight of immigration reform on Democrats 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 TrumpRonny Jackson, former White House doctor, predicts Biden will resign McCarthy: Pelosi appointing members of Jan. 6 panel who share 'pre-conceived narrative' Kinzinger denounces 'lies and conspiracy theories' while accepting spot on Jan. 6 panel 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.”