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Kinzinger PAC to go on attack against 'Trumpism'

Kinzinger PAC to go on attack against 'Trumpism'
© Greg Nash

Rep. Adam KinzingerAdam Daniel KinzingerKinzinger: Conspiracy theory FBI planned Jan. 6 example of 'legacy of Trump and Trumpism' Cheney rips Arizona election audit: 'It is an effort to subvert democracy' Why the Democrats need Joe Manchin MORE (R-Ill.) plans to target lawmakers including Reps. Marjorie Taylor GreeneMarjorie Taylor GreeneGOP efforts to downplay danger of Capitol riot increase The Memo: What now for anti-Trump Republicans? Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene says she's meeting with Trump 'soon' in Florida MORE (R-Ga.) and Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzKatie Hill says 'it would take a lot' to convince her to run again for House GOP divided over bills targeting tech giants Kinzinger: Conspiracy theory FBI planned Jan. 6 example of 'legacy of Trump and Trumpism' MORE (R-Fla.) with his new political action committee, which aims to aid GOP candidates that don’t embrace Trumpism. 

The Illinois lawmaker — who has been a vocal Trump critic and was one of the 10 GOP House members to in favor of impeaching the former president for inciting a riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6 — told The Washington Post he has a “huge list” of members he would like to see challenged for perpetuating conspiracy theories and the unsubstantiated claim that the 2020 election was stolen. 

Kinzinger accused Gaetz and Greene — two of Trump’s most ardent defenders in the lower chamber — of prioritizing fame over legislating, alleging that they don’t believe in what they have voiced to voters. 

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“Oh, there's a huge list. … I mean, look, all you have to do is see people like, of course, Marjorie Taylor Greene. You look at people like Matt Gaetz, who know better. I think neither of them believes the stuff they ascribe to, they just want fame,” he said during a Washington Post Live event on Wednesday. “And so then you have to look at all that stuff and say, OK, can they be defeated? Who are opponents that can actually run against them?”  

Kinzinger, who announced the launch of the Country First PAC late last month, said he would like to help boost politicians beyond Congress, adding he doesn’t plan to have a litmus test on social issues for candidates he’ll support. 

“I don't want to engage in races and lose, because it's a bad narrative, too. But I want to give support to people on local levels, even people running for mayor, state reps etc. and just simply say this: I don't care what you believe, as long as you believe it: you can be pro-life, pro-choice, pro-gun, anti-gun, right?” he continued. 

“We've gotten into too many, you have to be this or this. I just want you to tell the American people the truth. And I want you to not peddle in conspiracies and use some optimism occasionally, that's a pretty low bar, but it's a low bar that eliminates a lot of people," he said.

While Kinzinger is aiming to help elevate Republicans looking to move away from Trump, Gaetz is making efforts to oust lawmakers he feels do not embrace Trump enough. 

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The Florida lawmaker held a campaign rally in Wyoming calling for the ouster of House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyTrump has 'zero desire' to be Speaker, spokesman says Liz Cheney hired security after death threats: report Cheney: 'It is disgusting and despicable' to see Gosar 'lie' about Jan. 6 MORE (R-Wyo.) in January after she voted to impeach Trump, and has vowed to help boost pro-Trump candidates next cycle. 

And Greene — whom the House voted to remove from her committee assignments following the emergence of inflammatory remarks and her embrace of the QAnon conspiracy theory prior to her time in Congress — has been boasting about the campaign contributions she has received following her congressional colleagues’ decision to move forward with formal repercussions for her rhetoric. 

Kinzinger said he feels the effort to oust Cheney shows the party needs to get back to conservative policies. 

“I think it's telling that the party is broken right now and in a bad place and that there's no time like now to fight for that soul of the party, because every day we get closer to the next election, and then the next presidential election, and there's always a reason to put off the inevitable fight that needs to happen, but it needs to happen now,” he said.