Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) on Sunday said that Republicans are in “real trouble” ahead of the midterm elections because the GOP lacks strong leadership from both House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.).
“Republicans are in real trouble because we have no leadership. This is the problem,” Kinzinger said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “Kevin McCarthy isn’t leading, he’s asking, ‘What does [Republican Rep.] Marjorie Taylor Greene [Ga.] want me to do?’
“Mitch McConnell’s just trying to save the Senate,” Kinzinger added. “We have no leaders, and no wonder our base basically believes everything Donald Trump says.”
With the midterm elections coming up, the race for control of Congress is heating up between Democrats and Republicans.
While GOP candidates slam the Biden administration with accusations of mishandling the economy and causing high inflation, Democrats are campaigning heavily on abortion rights and are seeking to paint Republicans as extremist on the issue.
A bellwether race in New York last week showed the odds may be tipping in favor of Democrats. In the special election for the House of Representatives, Democratic candidate Pat Ryan, who had focused on abortion rights in his campaign, eked out a victory over Republican Marc Molinaro.
Polls also show Republicans, who earlier this year enjoyed a healthy advantage headed into November, are now losing ground while forecasts are shifting toward Democrats.
The GOP is also experiencing in-fighting between former President Trump and McConnell. After the Senate minority leader said the House is more likely to flip control than the Senate, Trump called for McConnell to be ousted from his leadership post.
The former president has dubbed McConnell with the nickname “Old Crow” and has called for his ouster since the Senate leader denounced Trump for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, rioting at the U.S. Capitol.
Kinzinger, a member of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, said on Sunday another concerning issue with the GOP headed into November is the 2020 election, which many continue to falsely claim was rigged.
“Republicans that are running against even left-wing Democrats that believe in democracy and believe in voting, that person should be elected over somebody who basically would overthrow the will of the people and ultimately destroy this country,” the Illinois lawmaker, who announced his retirement last October, told NBC. “This country cannot survive outside of democracy. It will turn into a power struggle between groups of different races, of different ethnicities, of different religions, because the thing that holds us together is this belief that we can self-govern.”
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This story was originally published August 28, 2022 1:19 PM.