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Former GOP lawmaker calls idea of ‘America First’ caucus ‘racism in a jar’

Former Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-Va.) blasted Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) for a now-scrapped plan to organize an “America First” caucus in the Republican party focused on Anglo-Saxon values and political philosophy. 

“It was sort of gobsmacking,” Riggleman said Monday on CNN’s “New Day.” “You read the first seven pages … and it sounds like what happened to me in my district with the same sort of vile language, like racism in a jar.”

Riggleman lost his seat in the U.S. House last June after being defeated in a GOP primary by Rep. Bob Good, a born-again Christian with views more closely aligned with the party’s more conservative wing. 

It was reported late last week GOP Reps. Greene and Paul Gosar (Ariz.) would lead the formation of the group, dubbed the “America First Caucus.” 

The caucus platform stated a need to uphold former President Trump’s legacy and protect “Anglo-Saxon political traditions.”

“America is a nation with a border, and a culture, strengthened by a common respect for uniquely Anglo-Saxon political traditions,” the platform read. “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 idea for the caucus has since been abandoned by GOP members. 

Green “got her hand caught in the racist cookie jar,” Riggleman said. 

“This is not unique,” he said. “It is still there, it is still metastasizing … that kind of hate that kind of trying to project policy into a hate-filled bucket is what they’re trying to do. And then trying to rationalize it as something the Republican party does not stand for. And if the GOP does not stand up, and identify these individuals for who they are, again, I think there’s real trouble there.” 

During an appearance on Meet The Press on Sunday, former Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) called the statements put forth by the proposed America First Caucus “one of the nuttiest things I’ve ever seen.”

“Listen, America is a land of immigration. We’ve been the world’s giant melting pot for the last 200 years, and we’ve got to celebrate that we’re this giant melting pot,” Boehner said.

Tags Boehner Denver Riggleman Denver Riggleman Donald Trump Far-right politics in the United States John Boehner John Boehner Marjorie Taylor Greene Marjorie Taylor Greene Paul Gosar Paul Gosar

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