A Republican representative who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump announced his retirement, stating his decision Sunday.
Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) announced April 5 his decision to not run for another term of office. He has represented Michigan’s 6th Congressional District since 1987. His announcement made him the fourth Republican who voted for Trump’s impeachment to announce they were not seeking reelection in November.
He told NBC reporter Chuck Todd that far-right voices in Congress have the most significant influence he’s seen since taking office. He made his remarks during a Sunday espisode of “Meet the Press.”
“Lauren Boebert, and Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Paul Gosar, is that a different element than you’ve ever seen before?” Todd asked the veteran lawmaker.
“I don’t think we’ve had as many folks in that sort of wing of the party elected as we have before,” Upton replied, “but I I think they’re very popular back at home.”
The Michigan congressman opined they meant “troubled waters” for the party, in response to Todd’s question.
House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) gave a different take on a different network.
“I’ve never seen our party more united,” the House Minority Leader said on Fox News Sunday. “We’re not focused on individual. We’re focused on the country first, and the policies.” McCarthy opined the country’s problems are too big for fight among party members, saying that would be to think small. He added Republicans are putting the country above the party in order to solve its problems.
The House Republican chief vigorously denied in the Fox interview reports of party infighting or that he faced challenges to his leadership role.
McCarthy will have his hands full running the House if Republicans retake control in November. Divisions abound about the future of the party.
Establishment Republicans appeal to voters on traditional issues like economics and border security. Other Republicans express belief the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump and call on the party to look back and investigate election integrity. A smaller number of adamant Trump critics are clinging to office by their fingernails as they face Trump-backed primary challengers.
Upton attributed his retirement decision was due to redistricting, not Trump’s backing of a primary opponent.
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