CHICAGO - Illinois Congressman Adam Kinzinger has responded to Donald Trump after the former president urged voters to defeat all Republicans who supported his second impeachment.
In his first speech since leaving the White House, the former president urged a total purge of the 17 congressional Republicans who supported impeaching him.
"Get rid of them all," Trump said.
"I voted my conscience. I had a duty to the Constitution that only 435 members of the House had, right? So, I’m at total peace with what I did. And how people want to take that, they can. And I also have an obligation to fight for the soul of my party," Kinzinger responded.
A lieutenant colonel in the Air National Guard and a fighter pilot, Kinzinger expects this fight with the powerful Trump wing of the party to animate next year's mid-term Republican primary elections.
In a state dominated by Democrats, Kinzinger is also fighting on that front. Gov. JB Pritzker has blasted him and other Republicans for voting "no" on President Joe Biden’s coronavirus relief proposal, which could funnel $13 billion bailout dollars to Illinois.
"I know he's trying to deflect. We've given plenty of money to Illinois. If we can give more, under the right circumstances with the right controls, we will," Kinzinger said.
Illinois' declining population means the state likely loses at least one congressional seat this year. When the General Assembly draws new boundaries, Kinzinger and other local Republicans could find re-election more difficult.
"Do we peddle in fear? Or do we push forward with ideas and optimism? I certainly hope it's the latter," Kinzinger said.
Kinzinger does not comment on potential Republican primary challengers, but one has already named his campaign committee, "Impeach Adam Kinzinger 2022."