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Kinzinger: GOP should look ahead to 2020

Congressman disgusted by president’s reaction to election results

U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger appears to be the lone House Republican speaking up following the party’s recent election losses.

In a news conference the day after the election, President Donald Trump called out certain Republicans who did not campaign with him and lost.

Kinzinger was quoted in a New York Times article Sunday by Jonathan Martin condemning the president’s comments. The article looked at how the GOP was evaluating the loss of nearly 40 House seats.

“That was disgusting,” Kinzinger said, recalling how other presidents acknowledged defeat after their party lost the House. “I think back to Obama and Bush, both admitting it when they lost, accepting that with some grace.”

Kinzinger also told the New York Times there has not been “any party lookback or leadership lookback and it does worry some of us.”

Kinzinger appeared on CNN after the election sharing the same message. The congressman was asked to comment on Trump’s statement about Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, who lost her bid for re-election.

Trump said: “Mia Love gave me no love, and she lost. Too bad. Sorry about that Mia.”

“I was disgusted when I heard it happen,” Kinzinger said on CNN. “These are members that are in their districts are reflecting their districts. Some of them lost because frankly people were voting against the president, and I think if the president would’ve showed more grace in that and said we’re going to miss them ... thank you for their service, instead of it’s because you didn’t back me.”

Kinzinger said a lot of the congressmen and women Trump commented on backed him.

“Mia Love backed the president a lot and that may have cost her,” Kinzinger said.

“A little more grace would’ve been a lot better. I was very disgusted when I heard that.”

He said he would have preferred the party look ahead to 2020.

The article also mentioned the 40-year-old Kinzinger is one of the Republicans mentioned by colleagues as a potential retiree. He told the New York Times: “I fully intend to run again,” but conceded he takes little pleasure in being asked to account for “every tweet, every comment” the president makes.

Kinzinger told The Times he is not looking to retire at this time, after receiving nearly 60 percent of the vote in his district. He indicated that he always likes to take some time to think about re-election as the filing date gets closer. p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px 'Times New Roman'}

Kinzinger endorsed Trump during a meeting with editors from Shaw Media newspapers prior to the election.

He credited Trump with the recent economic upswing, but he is reminded a new generation of Republicans will be quick to succeed him.

“I hope he’s president for another six years, but he’ll be done at some point and there will be this generation that’s my age and younger that’s going to define what the Republican party looks like,” Kinzinger said.

Kinzinger also said during the interview it’s difficult to bridge the gap between Republicans and Democrats when President Trump continues to divide the parties with Twitter attacks.

“I think if you talk with most Republicans, they’re conflicted with policies we agree with and tone we don’t,” Kinzinger said. “So, I’ll just continue to be a counterexample.”

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