Sen. John Thune (R-SD) accused some Republicans of engaging in “cancel culture,” citing the censure of several GOP lawmakers who voted against former President Trump.
What he said: Thune argued that it would be hypocritical of Republicans not to point out that the infighting in the party resemble “cancel culture” behavior.
“There was a strong case made,” Thune told the Associated Press of the House impeachment managers’ arguments. “People could come to different conclusions. If we’re going to criticize the media and the left for cancel culture, we can’t be doing that ourselves.”
He also said that the GOP should be focused on backing candidates that can get elected rather than focusing on whether their views align with the former president.
“At the grassroots level, there’s a lot of people who want to see Trump-like candidates. But I think we’re going to be looking for candidates that are electable,” he said. Thune added that he will support candidates “who don’t go off and talk about conspiracies and that sort of thing.”
Worth noting: Thune voted against convicting Trump but did criticize him in the aftermath of the presidential election, calling his behavior “inexcusable.” His vote in the impeachment trial was based on the argument that Trump cannot be convicted because he is no longer the president.
How we got here: Local Republican parties across the country have voted, sometimes unanimously, to formally censure a fellow lawmaker representing the state in the House or the Senate over their vote during the impeachment process of the former president.
The most recent vote came from The North Carolina Republican Party who censured Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) who voted to convict Trump after the impeachment trial in the Senate.
“The NCGOP agrees with the strong majority of Republicans in both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate that the Democrat-led attempt to impeach a former President lies outside the United States Constitution,” the state party said in a statement on Monday night.
The Westmoreland County GOP already moved to censure Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) for the same reason. His state party is reportedly preparing to do the same and the Senator has faced a backlash from the Washington County Republican Party. The Louisiana Republican Party formally censured Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) for his “guilty” vote as well.
“We did not send him there to vote his conscience. We did not send him there to do the right thing or whatever he said he’s doing,” Washington County GOP Chair Dave Ball told KDKA. “We sent him there to represent us.”
GOP lawmakers in the House were not spared for voting to impeach the former president. Rep. Liz Cheney and Rep. Tom Rice were censured by the Republican parties in Wyoming and South Carolina respectively. Meanwhile, the Arizona GOP party censured Republican Gov. Doug Ducey after he did not support Trump’s claims of election fraud and also Cindy McCain, Sen. John McCain’s widow, and former GOP Sen. Jeff Flake after they backed Joe Biden’s bid for president.
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Author: Penka Arsova
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