Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho, a founding member of the Freedom Caucus and a vocal critic of the failed American Health Care Act (AHCA), hit out at Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger on Friday after the latter released an scathing op-ed in the New York Times titled “How the Freedom Caucus Is Undermining the G.O.P.”
In the op-ed, Kinzinger praised President Trump’s “good faith,” and accused the Freedom Caucus of “[refusing] to let the will of the people advance on the House floor” and “undermining the Republican agenda, and our party as a whole.”
Upon reading this op-ed, one would think Kinzinger was both a die-hard Trump supporter and a champion of party loyalty, willing to stand by the President against those plotting against him within the Republican Party. However, in his tweet, Labrador exposed Kinzinger for what he truly is – an opportunistic establishment Never Trumper emboldened by the President’s decision to publicly threaten the Freedom Caucus.
Labrador said: “I’m confused, is this the [Rep. Kinzinger] who would not vote for Trump. If he had his way, where would GOP be today?”
— Raúl R. Labrador (@Raul_Labrador) March 31, 2017
Indeed, in August 2016, Kinzinger told CNN‘s Wolf Blitzer that he would not be supporting the Republican presidential nominee: “I’m an American before I’m Republican…he’s crossed so many red lines that a commander in chief or a candidate for commander in chief should never cross.”
Even after Trump’s historic election victory, Kinzinger did not cease railing against the then President-elect. Also on CNN, a vehemently anti-Trump network which has been attacked by the President as “fake news”, Kinzinger refused to defend Trump’s criticism of U.S. intelligence agencies, suggested Trump’s allegation that illegal immigrants had conducted voter fraud in the 2016 election “undermines the Constitution,” and described Trump’s remarks on migrant unrest in Sweden as “embarrassing”.
In response to Trump’s tirade against the Freedom Caucus on Twitter, Labrador reminded the President that the “Freedom Caucus stood with [you] when others ran. Remember who your real friends are. We’re trying to help u succeed.”
Freedom Caucus stood with u when others ran. Remember who your real friends are. We're trying to help u succeed.
— Raúl R. Labrador (@Raul_Labrador) March 30, 2017
All but two of the fiscally conservative Congressmen that played a key role in defeating the AHCA decided to endorse Trump last year, and Labrador himself actively campaigned for Trump in Florida, Arizona and Utah, having backed Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz earlier in the race.