FEBRUARY 9, 2022
Senior Republican lawmaker Mitch McConnell lashed out at his own party members days after the Republican National Committee (RNC) censured Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger for not toeing the party line with regard to the January 6 attack on Capitol Hill.
The senior GOP leader also joined them in decrying the attacks of Capitol Hill and called it a violent insurrection. “It was a violent insurrection for the purpose of trying to prevent the peaceful transfer of power after a legitimately certified election from one administration to the next,” McConnell was quoted as saying by news agency Associated Press.
“The issue is whether or not the RNC should be sort of singling out members of our party who may have different views than the majority. That’s not the job of the RNC,” he further added. According to the AP report, McConnell was displeased with censuring of Kinzinger and Cheney, who are both members of a Democrat-led House committee which is investigating the January 6, 2020 riots.
McConnell’s recent comments show that a section of the Republican lawmakers could be trying to move away from Donald Trump’s grip. The former US president remains the largest donor to the GOP but ahead of the November midterm elections where the party is aiming to regain control of the House and Senate and is aiming to do so without the support of Trump.
McConnell’s concern was echoed by Republican lawmakers like John Cornyn of Texas, Richard Shelby of Alabama, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Mitt Romney of Utah. They, along with McConnell, called Ronna McDaniel, the RNC chair, to discuss the censure of Cheney and Kinzinger. Mitt Romney even said that the censuring of both these leaders was inappropriate. These leaders were censured because they disagreed with many within the party and with Trump who say that the rioters in Capitol Hill were engaging in legitimate political discourse.
“Rioters who broke windows and breached the Capitol were not engaged in legitimate political discourse, and to say otherwise is absurd,” Maine lawmaker Susan Collins was quoted as saying by news agency AP. However, the former US president Donald Trump and several of those rioters believe that the election was stolen from him and supporters still feel that the attack on Capitol Hill was a protest but not an attack on US’ democracy.