Former Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo of Florida said the GOP has “lost its way” after being “engulfed in lies and fear” under the Trump administration.
Curbelo made the comments in an IntelligenceSquared debate titled “The GOP Has Lost Its Way,” where he said Trump had turned the “Republican Party into a personal club to advance his interests.” He added that GOP members cannot serve the American people if they continue lying on Trump’s behalf.
“It [The Republican Party] has lost its way because it’s a party engulfed in lies and in fear,” Curbelo said in his opening statement.
“This is about integrity. This is about honesty,” Curbelo continued. “You can’t lead a country when you’re constantly lying to people. You can’t effectively lead a country when you’re using lies and conspiracy theories to divide the people who you’re supposed to serve.”
During the debate Curbelo said the GOP had condemned Republican members who have stood up against the lies but are overshadowed by those perpetuating them. (Related: GOP Philadelphia City Commissioner Says Claims Of Election Fraud Are Lies From ‘Bad Actors’)
“The reason why a lot of Republicans don’t express simple truths is because they are afraid,” he said. “Lies and fear, those are two major forces in today’s Republican Party. There are a lot of good Republicans fighting, trying to save the party from those twin crises.”
Curbelo’s partner in the debate, former Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, said that decency and truth must be restored.
“If we’re going to have an honest conversation about the Republican Party, we have to confront this crisis, this cancer that is preventing a lot of Republicans, not all, from telling people the truth, from being honest with the voters, and from serving with decency,” Flake said.
According to a Feb. 15 Quinnipiac University poll, 75% of Republicans want Trump to play a prominent role in the GOP. The poll surveyed 1,056 people nationwide with a 3 percent margin of error.
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