MSNBC guest and Axios co-founder Jim VandeHei said Friday that the Republican party was “on fire,” stating that to successfully run for office as a Republican you now need to “act crazy, tolerate crazy, be crazy, or get crushed.”
VandeHei appeared on “Morning Joe” to discuss the Republican voter base with host Joe Scarborough, who said that he believed the Republican base was “somewhat conservative” but “radical.” Scarborough continued, saying the base of Republican Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene was “QAnon” and asked VandeHei if he thought QAnon has become so widespread that it now represented the Republican base more broadly. (RELATED: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Says There Are ‘Legitimate White Supremacist Sympathizers That Sit At The Heart’ Of The Republican Caucus)
“A big chunk of the base might not believe everything QAnon, but they believe a lot of these conspiracy theories, and I think there is more of those people than there are traditional Dick Cheney, Liz Cheney Republicans,” VandeHei said. “Again, go to Wyoming. Go look at the coverage in Wyoming. It is almost impossible that reporters are going there to find anybody who will even defend a Liz Cheney.”
Wyoming Republican Rep. Liz Cheney has faced pressure from some Republican colleagues to step down from her leadership role in the caucus after voting to impeach former President Donald Trump on Jan. 13. Trump was impeached after being accused of inciting the mob of his supporters that stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6. seeking to stop the certification of the Electoral College vote.
A majority of Republicans around the country maintain their belief that there was widespread fraud in the 2020 election, leading to President Joe Biden’s victory. Some House members who expressed support for these allegations have also been criticized for their past association with QAnon, including Greene, who has recently taken heat from lawmakers over liking social media content that called for the execution of some members of Congress.
VandeHei went on to attack House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy for meeting with Trump in Florida on Thursday to talk strategy for the 2022 mid-term elections. He stated that those in congressional leadership are often never “profiles in courage” and that they are only interested in “self-preservation.”
“The party is on fire right now…..Why did Rob Portman say I’m getting out of town? Why? Because he’s a serious guy who wants to legislate and does what you say you want to have done, and he looks around and he’s like I don’t know anyone else who wants to do what I want to do, and if I run I either have to act crazy, tolerate crazy, be crazy, or get crushed,” VandeHei said.