With former President Trump booted from Twitter and the White House, several state-level Republicans are rising to the occasion to fill the Trump-sized void by echoing his extreme rhetoric.
A few days after President Biden’s inauguration, state Republicans in Arizona, Hawaii and Texas spent the weekend proving their loyalty to the former president as well as Trump’s bogus claims of widespread election fraud. The Oregon GOP added itself to the list on Monday as well.
Even as the second Senate impeachment trial against Trump looms, state Republicans made clear that the former president’s foot soldiers are here to stay, despite his departure from the White House last week:
Clearly still upset over Biden’s victory in the battleground state, Arizona Republicans voted to censure Cindy McCain, former Sen. Jeff Flake (R) and Gov. Doug Ducey (R) for refusing to do Trump’s bidding.
McCain, who is the widow of the late Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and endorsed Biden after Trump spent years attacking her husband, appeared to brush off the merely symbolic vote.
It is a high honor to be included in a group of Arizonans who have served our state and our nation so well…and who, like my late husband John, have been censured by the AZGOP. I’ll wear this as a badge of honor.
— Cindy McCain (@cindymccain) January 24, 2021
Flake, who also became a target of Trump’s attacks, took the high road as well by tweeting a photo of him with McCain and Ducey at Biden’s inauguration.
If condoning President Trump’s behavior is required to stay in the AZGOP’s good graces, I’m just fine being on the outs. https://t.co/2rzCTu1AcZ
— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) January 24, 2021
Along with the merely symbolic vote, Arizona Republicans also re-elected Kelli Ward — who Trump called up a day after the state’s Supreme Court swatted down her challenge to void Biden’s win — as its chair.
In a now-deleted series of incendiary tweets posted Saturday night, the Hawaii GOP glorified QAnon conspiracy theorists.
Last night, the Hawaii GOP dropped an eight-tweet thread arguing that a thinly secularized blood libel mythology and bloody, Turner Diaries-inspired "day of the rope" revenge fantasies are rooted in patriotism and should be accepted as legitimate elements of conservative politics pic.twitter.com/XPfqXWUUJh
— Brent S. Sirota (@BrentSirota) January 24, 2021
After the tweets were met with backlash, they were deleted the following morning without explanation.
On Sunday night, Hawaii GOP vice Chair of communications Edwin Boyette resigned through a Facebook post in which he expressed remorse over “the discussion of the Q-Conspiracy,” calling it “an error of judgement.”
Today I gave my resignation as Vice Chair for Communications for the Hawaii Republican Party.
I will be off social…
The Texas GOP went a similar route as the Arizona Republican Party by parroting QAnon-friendly messaging as its slogan.
— Molly Jong-Fast? (@MollyJongFast) January 24, 2021
The Texas GOP dismissed the backlash that ensued in a series of tweets that linked to its chair claiming that the slogan is nod to an “unattributed quote he likes” in an interview with the Texas Tribune in August.
— Texas GOP (@TexasGOP) January 24, 2021
The Oregon GOP passed a formal resolution on Monday that condemned what it views as a “betrayal” by the 10 House Republicans who voted in favor of impeaching Trump for the second time for “incitement of insurrection,” which included the GOP’s third-ranking member Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY).
In its statement announcing the resolution on the eve of Biden’s inauguration last week, the Oregon GOP dismissed the Capitol riots as a “false flag” and compared it to the Reichstag fire. The Oregon GOP also denied Trump’s role in inciting the mob of his supporters who breached the Capitol earlier this month.
Oregon GOP Condemns Betrayal by the Ten House Republicans Who Voted to Impeach President Trump pic.twitter.com/sL2pjAXT8u
— Oregon GOP (@Oregon_GOP) January 19, 2021