GOP ousted Liz Cheney on Tuesday over disloyalty to Trump
The Illinois representative appeared on MSNBC during coverage of the Wyoming congressional primary where Ms Cheney was summarily routed by Harriet Hageman, who had Donald Trump’s backing. In his remarks, Mr Kinzinger blamed America’s right-wing pastors for preaching “Trumpism from the pulpit” and allowing many of their followers to equate the former president with Jesus Christ.
“They may not say it, but they equate Donald Trump with the person of Jesus Christ,” an animated Mr Kinzinger told MSNBC’s Alex Wagner.
“If you even come out against this amazing man, Donald Trump, [who] is obviously quite flawed, you are coming out against Jesus, against their Christian values,” he continued.
Mr Kinzinger is not facing a primary election this year, as he chose to stand down from reelection rather than face a challenger endorsed by Mr Trump. His future political ambitions are unclear, but many Washington insiders speculate he could end up with a cable news analysis gig.
Ms Cheney, on the other hand, was not ruling out the possibility of running for president in 2024 and made a clear reference to the precedent of Abraham Lincoln doing so after losing congressional elections during her concession speech Tuesday evening and in a subsequent media appearance. It’s unclear what constituency she would find in the national Republican Party voter base, which largely continues to back Mr Trump.
Florida Gov Ron DeSantis is the only GOP figure who polls in the double digits against Mr Trump in a hypothetical 2024 primary matchup, but even he significantly trails the former president in support.
Mr Trump maintains control of a massive campaign war chest and publicly continues to make statements hinting or outright stating the possibility that he will run for office again in 2024.