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Adam Kinzinger describes himself as a moderate Republican, which he says is a dying breed in American politics. 2024-04-17 06:27:14

Who is he? A former congressman from Illinois, Kinzinger held that position from 2011 until the end of his term earlier this year.

He's well-known for his opposition to some factions within his own party in the final years of his political career, particularly after the January 6th Capitol attacks. Kinzinger and former Republican congresswoman from Wyoming, Liz Cheney, were the only two Republicans on the House select committee investigating the January 6th attack.
He was also one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump in 2021 and later announced he would not seek re-election.

In his new book, "Renegade," Kinzinger delves into his reflections on his work, life, and political career.

In it, he elaborates on his view of what he calls a broken political system, the grueling nature of a politician's work, and his growing disillusionment with the Republican Party following Trump's presidency and the subsequent impeachment trials.

What does he say? Kinzinger spoke with All Things Considered host Scott Detrow about his career, the state of his party, and what lies ahead.

On the type of people running for office these days:

"People get elected to make a name for themselves. It's like the new Hollywood. But the problem is not that they can't govern. The problem is that those who are governing are not resisting."

"And most of the time, they just stick their head in the sand and act like we can fix this by letting the far right get their way on a couple of issues. And while most of them may be there to govern, it doesn't mean that they're actually going to do what they need to do to get in a position where they can push back and govern."

On the resignation of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy:

"I think it was on the wall. I don't know if I expected it to happen this quickly, or maybe even as much as it dragged on longer than I thought it would."

"But when you make deals with what I think [former Speaker] John Boehner aptly called the 'terrorist group,' and you start making deals where they're holding you hostage, and then you face real deadlines like the debt limit, I think it was inevitable, as was the government shutdown."

"So, yeah, I was surprised it took about a million rounds of voting to get to McCarthy. But yeah, I wasn't surprised he got fired. And frankly, I think it couldn't have happened to a nicer guy."

On the challenges of the job and the concept of "selling your soul":

"You know, I don't think it's worth it if you're going to sell your soul because not only is selling your soul pathetic, but the process of selling your soul is also pathetic."

"And I don't know why you do it, except for the fact that there's a personality. Being a member of Congress is a heady thing. You're at the center of attention wherever you go, except for the White House."

"And I think that gets people addicted. But I will say to anybody who's running, public service is still very honorable. And we need good people in public service to change that perspective."

"But we need people that understand that your job isn't just to stick your finger in the wind and figure out which way it's blowing. Your job is to defend the Constitution of the United States, which is what we take an oath to do. And I think if we have more of those people in politics, I think the job will be worth it again. And honestly, it will become honorable again."

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