Kinzinger: Trump just wants to ‘stand in front of a crowd and be adored’
GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger (Ill.) on Monday responded to former President Trump’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) speech by saying it was “obvious” that Trump had no vision and only wanted “to stand in front of a crowd and be adored.”
“I think, you know, what you could see at that speech yesterday was recycling old talking points. You know, just stream of consciousness and I think it’s obvious there is no vision from Donald Trump there’s no desire to paint a vision. All he really desires is to stand in front of a crowd and be adored and he got that in ample amounts yesterday,” Kinzinger, who has emerged as one of Trump’s most vocal GOP critics, said while appearing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
“This president has done nothing but reflect people’s darkness back to them, reflect their fears back to them,” Kinzinger added. “It was sad, but I’m still hopeful that, you know, 45 percent of people at this Trump rally didn’t want Donald Trump again, and I think there’s a growing number of people out there that see he’s a has-been.”
Republican political strategist Susan Del Percio was also present during the interview and asked Kinzinger how he felt the GOP could stand up against Trump’s influence. Kinzinger launched a new PAC in January aimed at challenging the Republican Party’s embrace of Trump.
“The way to show no fear is just to tell the truth. Look, Donald Trump is a con artist. Now he’s trying to simply use your fears and darkness to feed his ego, that’s what he wants to do,” Kinzinger responded, noting that Trump repeated the baseless claim that the 2020 election had been “stolen” from him.
“Most of the people in that room probably know in their heart It wasn’t stolen,” Kinzinger said. “So no fear is just admitting that it wasn’t stolen and not going along with the dark crowd because it feels good at the time.”
During the CPAC speech, his first public appearance since leaving the White House, Trump blasted President Biden as well as his own critics in the GOP. He attacked Republican lawmakers who have criticized him including Kinzinger, Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.) and Sen. Mitt Romney (Utah).
“If Republicans do not stick together, the RINOs [Republicans in name only] that we’re surrounded with will destroy the Republican Party,” Trump said.
The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.