House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyRhode Island state treasurer running for Langevin's seat in US House McConnell aims to sidestep GOP drama over Trump House Republicans bash Democrats' China competition bill MORE (R-Calif.) said Friday that the Republican Party is not the party of "nativist dog whistles" in an apparent response to a new right-wing caucus that explicitly calls for promoting "Anglo-Saxon political traditions."
McCarthy issued a tweet that does not explicitly reference the new "America First Caucus" — established by GOP 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 (Ga.) and Paul GosarPaul Anthony GosarJan. 6 committee subpoenas leaders of 'America First' movement Lawmakers coming under increased threats — sometimes from one another McCarthy says he'll strip Dems of committee slots if GOP wins House MORE (Ariz.) — but came hours after its policy platform began leaking to the media.
"America is built on the idea that we are all created equal and success is earned through honest, hard work. It isn’t built on identity, race, or religion," McCarthy wrote.
"The Republican Party is the party of Lincoln & the party of more opportunity for all Americans — not nativist dog whistles," he added.
America is built on the idea that we are all created equal and success is earned through honest, hard work. It isn’t built on identity, race, or religion.— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) April 16, 2021
The Republican Party is the party of Lincoln & the party of more opportunity for all Americans—not nativist dog whistles.
The policy platform, which was first reported on by Punchbowl News and obtained by The Hill, states that "America is a nation with a border, and a culture, strengthened by a common respect for uniquely Anglo-Saxon political traditions."
"History has shown that societal trust and political unity are threatened when foreign citizens are imported en-masse into a country, particularly without institutional support for assimilation and an expansive welfare state to bail them out should they fail to contribute positively to the country," the document continues.
"As such, America’s legal immigration system should be curtailed to those that can contribute not only economically, but have demonstrated respect for this nation’s culture and rule of law."
The platform further calls for infrastructure that "reflects the architectural, engineering and aesthetic value that befits the progeny of European architecture."
It states that public infrastructure "must be utilitarian as well as stunningly, classically beautiful, befitting a world power and source of freedom," specifically citing the example of the ancient Romans.
The platform also calls for ending business closures caused by COVID-19 health measures and restricting access to voting. The position on voting access cites former President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer chairman of Wisconsin GOP party signals he will comply with Jan. 6 committee subpoena Overnight Defense & National Security — Pentagon tells Russia to stand down Billionaire GOP donor maxed out to Manchin following his Build Back Better opposition MORE's baseless claims of election fraud and calls for ending voting by mail, implementing a national voter ID law and investigating allegations of voter fraud.
Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyRomney participating in fundraiser for Liz Cheney The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden faces Ukraine decision amid Russia aggression Cheney hits Gingrich for saying Jan. 6 panel members may be jailed MORE (Wyo.), the third-ranking member of House GOP leadership, also appeared to condemn the new caucus on Twitter without specifically naming it.
"Racism, nativism, and anti-Semitism are evil. History teaches we all have an obligation to confront & reject such malicious hate," Cheney wrote.
Republicans believe in equal opportunity, freedom, and justice for all. We teach our children the values of tolerance, decency and moral courage. Racism, nativism, and anti-Semitism are evil. History teaches we all have an obligation to confront & reject such malicious hate.— Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) April 16, 2021
Both Greene and Gosar have faced criticism in the past for making racist remarks or associating with white nationalists.
Greene made a variety of racist, Islamophobic and anti-Semitic remarks in videos posted to Facebook before she was elected last year. They included falsely suggesting that the first two Muslim women elected to Congress — Reps. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarOver 80 lawmakers urge Biden to release memo outlining his authority on student debt cancellation Senate needs to confirm Deborah Lipstadt as antisemitism envoy — Now Overnight Defense & National Security — DOD watchdog to review extremism screening MORE (D-Minn.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibDemocrats press cryptomining companies on energy consumption Overnight Energy & Environment — Biden announces green buildings initiative Tlaib blasts Biden judicial nominee whose firm sued environmental lawyer MORE (D-Mich.) — were illegitimate because they chose to be sworn into office using the Quran instead of the Bible.
Gosar spoke at a conference in February that was organized by a white nationalist who praised the insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol during the Jan. 6 attack.
At least one other Republican closely allied with Trump is expected to join the new caucus. Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzOn The Money — Support for new COVID-19 relief grows House lawmakers urge Pelosi to bring stock trading ban to the floor Mask rules spark political games and a nasty environment in the House MORE (R-Fla.), who is under investigation over accusations of sex trafficking and prostitution, said Friday that he would become a member and that the group "will end wars, stop illegal immigration & promote trade that is fair to American workers."
I’m proud to join @mtgreenee in the #AmericaFirst Caucus.— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) April 16, 2021
We will end wars, stop illegal immigration & promote trade that is fair to American workers.
This is just a hit piece from the America Last crowd in Big Media, Big Tech & Big Government.https://t.co/hjGiuSLwBW
Rep. Louie GohmertLouis (Louie) Buller GohmertFocus on Perry could mean more subpoenas, challenges for Jan. 6 panel Members of Congress not running for reelection in 2022 House Ethics panel dismisses security screening fine issued to GOP lawmaker MORE (R-Texas) also told reporters in the Capitol on Friday that he is considering joining the group. Gohmert said he hadn't seen the platform's language invoking Anglo-Saxon dominance over American culture and insisted "it's not supposed to be about race at all."
Back in February, Cheney, who has taken heat from the right over her criticism of Trump, said that Republicans need to make clear the party doesn't associate itself with white supremacy after the Jan. 6 insurrection, where numerous members of the mob carried Confederate flags and other white supremacist symbols.
“And it's very important, especially for us as Republicans, to make clear that we aren't the party of white supremacy, you certainly saw anti-Semitism, you saw the symbols of Holocaust denial, for example, at the Capitol that day, you saw the Confederate flag being carried through the rotunda," Cheney said during an interview with the Reagan Institute. "And I think we, as Republicans, in particular, have a duty and an obligation to stand against that, to stand against the insurrection.”
—Updated at 6:12 p.m.