Newsweek: Adam Kinzinger Slams 'Tribes Over Solutions' Mentality After Nixing Re-Election Bid
Representative Adam Kinzinger, an Illinois Republican, ripped the present political polarization in the country and took aim at what he described as the "tribes over solutions" mentality.
Kinzinger, a staunch critic of former President Donald Trump, announced in a video posted online Friday that he would not seek re-election. That decision came shortly after Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzer, a Democrat, signed a new congressional map into law that would combine Kinzinger's district with that of GOP Representative Darin LaHood, which could have set the stage for bitter incumbent-versus-incumbent primary ahead of the 2022 midterms.
On Saturday, Kinzinger released another video urging the American people to set aside partisan divisions and put the country first. Earlier this year, the Republican congressman launched a political movement called "Country First," with the goal of supporting candidates challenging Trump's dominance of the GOP.
"Our country is in danger," Kinzinger warned in his Saturday video message. The congressman said that the nation's leaders "have failed us," taking aim at "politicians from both parties." He said the U.S. is "in great peril today" due to the polarization.
"Too many have chosen argument over answers, tribes over solutions and name-calling over working together," Kinzinger said. "It's an epidemic that's poisoning our relationships and our government." He said that the current divide is threatening the future of the country and "rotting us from within."
"It's the definition of insanity to believe the leaders who got us into this mess are going to get us out of it," the GOP lawmaker asserted. He said the current political class benefits from the divisions plaguing American society. "Scaring the hell out of us" is politicians' and the media's "secret to power and profits," Kinzinger added.
Kinzinger was one of the 10 House Republicans to vote to impeach Trump following the attack by the then president's supporters against the U.S. Capitol on January 6. Although the Republican has said he voted for Trump, he quickly began countering Trump's false claims that the 2020 election was "stolen" in favor of President Joe Biden following the latter's victory last November.
As a result of his opposition to Trump, Kinzinger has drawn the ire of the former president and fellow Republican lawmakers. Members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus have accused him and Representative Liz Cheney, a Wyoming Republican who also voted to impeach Trump, of being "spies" for the Democrats due to their roles on the House select committee investigating the pro-Trump attack against the Capitol. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican, has dubbed Kinzinger and Cheney "Pelosi Republicans," a reference to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat.
But Kinzinger has not shied away from criticizing Democrats and Biden. The GOP lawmaker has repeatedly condemned the Biden administration's bungled withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, while also joining fellow Republicans in voting against many of Democrats' key priorities since they took control of the White House and the full Congress.
At the end of January, Kinzinger launched the Country First PAC. "My goal in launching Country1st.com. . .is just to say, 'Look, let's take a look at the last four years, how far we have come in a bad way, how backwards-looking we are, how much we peddle darkness and division,' " Kinzinger told NBC News' Meet the Press at the time. "And that's not the party I ever signed up for. And I think most Republicans didn't sign up for that."
With his Saturday video announcement, Kinzinger tweeted a link to the PAC's website and wrote: "Trust me, I'm not going anywhere. This isn't resignation, concession, or giving up. I still have more than one year of my term and will continue to be a forceful voice—including on the 1/6 Committee. This is just the beginning, not the end!"
While Kinzinger's criticism of Trump has not appeared to resonate with the majority of GOP voters, his PAC has raised a sizable amount of money since its January launch. In the third quarter, Country First raised nearly $400,000 while it already had more than a $1 million on hand as of June 30, according to Chicago Sun Times.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Illinois) warned "our country is in danger" in a Saturday video message posted online. In this photo, Kinzinger questions witnesses during a hearing of the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack against the U.S. Capitol on July 27.
Country First's website offers endorsements to "help viable candidates at the local, state, and federal levels who have the courage to put country before party, and are willing to boldly lead us toward better, healthier politics." It's unclear whether Kinzinger's PAC would be open to endorsing Democrats as well as anti-Trump Republicans.
Newsweek reached out to Kinzinger's press secretary for further comment but did not immediately receive a response.
Polls have consistently shown that a substantial majority of Republicans continue to view Trump favorably. A survey conducted by Quinnipiac University from October 15 to 18 showed that 86 percent of Republican adults viewed Trump favorably.
Another poll carried out by Morning Consult and Politico from October 8 to 11 showed Trump was widely favored to become the GOP nominee in 2024, although the former president has not officially announced his intention to run. While nearly half (47 percent) of GOP voters said they'd back Trump, no other potential Republican nominee received more than 13 percent.
The original article and video coverage can be found on the Newsweek website here.