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 MurkowskiGOP lawmakers want Mulvaney sidelined in budget talks Overnight Defense: Officials brief Congress after Iran shoots down drone | Lawmakers fear 'grave situation' | Trump warns Iran | Senate votes to block Saudi arms sales | Bombshell confession at Navy SEAL's murder trial The 7 GOP senators who voted to block all or part of Trump's Saudi arms sale 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 CollinsMaine House speaker announces challenge to Collins Senate seat GOP senators divided over approach to election security GOP lawmakers want Mulvaney sidelined in budget talks MORE [Maine] is a not a moderate,” Jolly said. “Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerPress: How 'Nervous Nancy' trumped Trump Amash gets standing ovation at first town hall after calling for Trump's impeachment Jeff Daniels blasts 'cowardice' of Senate Republicans against Trump MORE [Tenn.] is not a maverick and Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeJeff Flake becoming Harvard fellow Democrats needle GOP on standing up to Trump Amash gets standing ovation at first town hall after calling for Trump's impeachment 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) ManchinRepublicans, Trump Jr. signal support for embattled West Virginia governor Critics say Interior's top lawyer came 'close to perjury' during Hill testimony The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by MAPRx — Trump takes heat for remarks on help from foreign governments 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 TrumpConway defends herself against Hatch Act allegations amid threat of subpoena How to defuse Gulf tensions and avoid war with Iran Trump says 'stubborn child' Fed 'blew it' by not cutting rates 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.”