McCarthy: Cheney, Kinzinger would have ‘hard time ever coming back to Congress’
House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Friday he believes GOP Reps. Liz Cheney (Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (Ill.) would have a “hard time ever coming back to Congress” following their censure by the Republican National Committee (RNC).
McCarthy was asked on Fox News if he believed it was appropriate for the RNC to rebuke Cheney and Kinzinger, two longtime members of the GOP who have vocally criticized former President Trump over his actions leading up to the Jan. 6, 2021, riot.
“Look, there is a reason why Adam is quitting. There’s a reason why Liz Cheney is no longer in leadership and has very low poll rating in Wyoming,” McCarthy replied, referring to Kinzinger’s decision not to run for reelection in Illinois and the vote last year to drop Cheney from House GOP leadership.
Cheney and Kinzinger have been the sole Republicans on the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol. McCarthy called the panel a “pure political committee,” adding, “I think those two individuals would have a hard time ever coming back to Congress.”
The Hill has reached out to Cheney and Kinzinger’s offices for comment.
The remarks from McCarthy came as the RNC on Friday voted to formally censure both Republicans for their participation in the Jan. 6 committee and for their past criticism of Trump.
As part of the resolution, the RNC stated it would no longer support either lawmaker as members of the Republican Party. Still, some Republicans have questioned the move, while others have criticized it outright.
“The RNC is censuring Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger because they are trying to find out what happened on January 6th. HUH?” Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), who voted to impeach Trump last year, wrote in a tweet.
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), who also voted to impeach Trump last year and whose niece Ronna McDaniel serves as chair of the RNC, slammed the GOP’s move to rebuke Cheney and Kinzinger.
“Shame falls on a party that would censure persons of conscience, who seek truth in the face of vitriol. Honor attaches to Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger for seeking truth even when doing so comes at great personal cost,” Romney said on Twitter on Friday.
Both lawmakers defended themselves against the censure vote. Cheney said in a statement that she did not recognize members of her party who “abandoned the Constitution to embrace Donald Trump.”
“I have no regrets about my decision to uphold my oath of office and defend the Constitution. I will continue to focus my efforts on standing for truth and working to fight the political matrix that’s led us to where we find ourselves today,” Kinzinger said in his own statement on Twitter.