Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) pumped the brakes on conservative chatter about Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis being the GOP standard-bearer in 2024, suggesting the rest of the country might not be receptive to him.
Congratulating DeSantis for his victory in securing reelection and acknowledging that DeSantis might be a front-runner at the moment for the GOP nod in 2024, Kinzinger took a swipe at the Sunshine State governor’s “leadership.”
“Ron DeSantis is going to have a kind of a short-lived victory here,” Kinzinger said on CNN. “Ron DeSantis winning big was huge, and congratulations to him. It’s not necessarily a message that — that we saw last night, though, that the rest of the country wants.”
Republicans had been expected to surf a red wave to victory in the House and possibly Senate on Tuesday, but so far, they have not performed as well as expected, and control of the House and Senate still hangs in the balance as of Wednesday afternoon. As a result, some conservatives began pointing the blame on former President Donald Trump and poor candidate quality in competitive races.
Conservative detractors took note of DeSantis’s smashing victory in Florida, in which he saw a considerable swing among Hispanic voters. DeSantis had long polled as a top Republican contender for 2024 after Trump. Following the fallout of the midterm elections, betting markets for the GOP 2024 nod moved sharply in his direction.
While taking a jab at DeSantis’s “leadership, I’ll call it,” Kinzinger appeared to suggest the Florida governor would be less intense as leader of the party than Trump.
“Certainly he’s probably in the lead right now, kind of a bit of a front-runner status,” Kinzinger said of DeSantis. “I think he has a real opportunity to take the Republican nomination, to win the presidency, but it’s not gonna be this kind of in-your-face thing that we’ve seen from Donald Trump.”
Amid the electoral uproar, Kinzinger, who declined to vie for another term in Congress, took to Twitter, basking in the Republican setbacks on election night. The congressman has been heavily critical of his Republican colleagues who have stuck by Trump in the aftermath of an effort to overturn the 2020 election results and is one of two GOP members of the Jan. 6 committee along with Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY).
“One day I’ll watch as you’re leaving ‘Cause you got tired of my scheming for the last time,” Kinzinger wrote in one tweet with a photo of Trump holding a newspaper saying, “It’s me, Hi. I’m the problem. It’s me.”
Kinzinger also noted that a “red wave isn’t happening” before firing off a string of retweets about the election and digs at his political foes.
“Now that it’s obvious the @gop should expel the Trump family from its future lexicon, stop @GOPLeader from ever holding leadership again, and tell @TulsiGabbard nah we’re good… how long until @TuckerCarlson gets booted to OANN? A guy can hope,” Kinzinger chided in another tweet.