Former Republican National Committee chair Marc Racicot told current party boss Ronna McDaniel that the RNC would regret censuring U.S. Reps. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., and Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill.
The RNC recently voted to censure Cheney and Kinzinger, who are working hand-in-hand with Democrats on Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s politically motivated House select committee investigating Jan. 6, 2021. The GOP lawmakers, who are virulently anti-Trump, are also known as “Pelosi Republicans.”
They are the only Republicans on the committee, handpicked by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., after Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., refused to seat any members — the GOP leader had submitted his choices, but when Pelosi rejected his top two picks, U.S. Reps. Jim Banks, R-Ind., and Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, McCarthy pulled his remaining selections.
Racicot, who served as governor of Montana from 1993 until 2001, penned an open letter published by the Billings Gazette, and began by noting that it has been two decades since he ran the party.
“Having held the same position that you presently occupy two decades ago, I would never have imagined that the day would come when the chair of the Republican National Committee and its members would rebuke and desert two GOP members of the United States House of Representatives, who, consistent with the Constitution, their oath of office and their conscience, have been performing their assigned Congressional duties with honor and integrity pursuant to the lawful passage of a House Resolution,” Racicot wrote.
The stance taking on the familiar ring of a response from moderate Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, who said it was an “inappropriate message… to sanction two people of character as they did.”
The RNC resolution said Cheney and Kinzinger took part in the “persecution of ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse” by being involved with the committee. The media pounced on the wording to claim the GOP was equating violence to “legitimate political discourse.”
“Cheney and Kinzinger chose to join Pelosi in a Democrat-led persecution of ordinary citizens who engaged in legitimate political discourse that had nothing to do with violence at the Capitol,” McDaniel would later clarify, in response to the spin put on the story by The New York Times.
Romney would regurgitate that spin, and Racicot did as well.
“Based on my decades of engagement in Republican politics, my intuition tells me that you and the other members of the RNC will come to regret, if you don’t already, the passage of the RNC Resolution,” he said. “It appears possible, and maybe even probable, that the RNC Resolution, with its incendiary language and histrionics, has advanced the very threat that you accuse Representatives Cheney and Kinzinger of creating, namely the diminution of the chances for Republican electoral success in 2022.”
Racicot warned that the RNC had “substantially underestimated the Great Middle of America,” which he said was “in the process of organizing itself with a higher goal, quietly but surely, not by express agreement or party affiliation, but by standards of decency, integrity, honor and faithfulness to the best interests of the Republic.”
Careful not to mention Donald Trump, the implication was apparent in his carefully chosen words as he equated those who breached the Capitol as representative of a certain wing of the party.
“Many intensely loyal Republicans, more polite and less dangerous than those who breached the Capitol, are, in larger and larger numbers, quietly but persistently looking for alternatives in the form of political movements and candidates of conscience, character, conviction and courage,” Racicot said. “They’re not suggesting, hopelessly, a return to simpler times. They’re calling, hopefully, for a return to simple, timeless and enduring values: presuming the best of each other, listening in good faith before acting or responding, exuding generosity and grace, self-correcting our own mistakes and being ambitious to accomplish something, not to be somebody.”
“In the Republican National Committee’s search for power for its own sake and its obsession with winning at any cost, you have sacrificed, by your proclamation and its revelation of the presently existing soul of the party, the allegiance of a great many, and a growing number, of your most ardent and long-time supporters,” he wrote. “Regrettably, it appears, ‘you have hitched your wagon to the wrong star.'”
Clever by half, he would add: “Hence, loyalty to a political party or candidate never trumps allegiance to the Republic.”
In addition to claiming McCarthy made the “wrong decision by refusing to participate in the legitimate business of the Select Committee” — he makes no mention of Pelosi’s role here — Racicot also insisted that Trump “didn’t experience defeat in 2020 because of fraud.”
“The truth is quite the opposite. The defeat of the former president is explained by the fact that legions of responsible citizens, part of that Great Middle of America, voted the way they did,” he proclaimed.
In conclusion, Racicot called on McDaniel to “lead the Committee through the process of withdrawing and dismissing the RNC Resolution rebuking and deserting Representatives Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger. I urge the pursuit of this remedy with the understanding that we’re human, that politics is a competitive enterprise and that sometimes we make mistakes.”
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