‘He’s An Asshole’: How Trump And Centrists United To Oust The Chair Of The Freedom Caucus

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Henry Rodgers Chief National Correspondent
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Republican Virginia Rep. Bob Good had to pull off a tall task to become the first Chairman of the House Freedom Caucus ever to be ousted in a primary fight: align both the pro-MAGA and traditional, business-aligned wings of the Republican Party against him.

Good did just that, losing his primary election to Virginia State Sen. John McGuire by less than a percentage point. McGuire received the endorsement of former President Donald Trump as well as the backing of Defending Main Street, a group that typically supports centrist Republicans — not those like McGuire, who describes himself as an “America First, Christian Conservative.”

The unlikely bedfellows united against Good due to the powerful Republican’s abrasiveness with other conservatives, insiders explained to the Daily Caller, as well as the costly decision to give an early endorsement to Ron DeSantis in the Republican presidential primary.

More simply put, one source told the Caller: “He’s an asshole.”

“He’s perhaps the most unlikable guy in Congress and that’s saying a lot with the likes of some others who are major league assholes,” a Republican member of Congress told the Caller. “I don’t think there is anyone in Congress, conservative or not, who would pee on Bob Good if he was on fire.”

“He’s even prickly toward his friends,” the member added.

A GOP ad maker involved with McGuire’s campaign told the Caller that Good had issues in the party and was an “unnecessary jerk.”

“Bob Good decided to spend his time in Washington, making enemies out of literally everyone he met. He wasn’t being a principled conservative; he was being an unnecessary jerk. Then, when it counted, he got out-hustled and out-raised by a stronger candidate in John McGuire, who simply ran a better campaign with a stronger message,” the GOP ad maker said. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE AUDIO: GOP Rep. Bob Good’s Campaign Called Police On Trump Supporters Ousting Him From Pro-Trump Event)

Good, who was one of the eight Republicans that voted to oust former Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, is still fighting the results of the election and pledging to raise money for a recount. After election day on June 18, the race was too close to call, with McGuire leading by 374 votes with around 63,000 ballots cast. The race was officially called Tuesday, July 2 by the Virginia State Board of Elections.

Diana Shores, Good’s Campaign Manager, explained to the Caller that they will be pursuing a recount effort to ensure voters the election was fair.

“The people of our district are reaching out to our campaign demanding that we pursue a recount. Our donors, our volunteers, and our supporters expect it. This isn’t about Bob Good. This is about the people of the district. We will pursue the recount to settle any questions about the fairness or transparency of the election process. This way, voters can confidently move forward to the general election,” Shores said. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Rep. Bob Good Says Republicans ‘Got Rolled’ In Midterms, Blames Kevin McCarthy At Conference Meeting)

“Now that the preliminary certification of the primary election has concluded, we will move into a recount.  In a race with nearly 63,000 votes that is separated by a 0.6% margin, Republican voters across the 5th District deserve to know that all legal votes have been accurately counted,” Shores added. “We will vigorously pursue that objective over the coming days and weeks, as permitted by Virginia law.”

In addition to allegations about Good’s personal conduct, the Trump endorsement was critical gasoline on the fire for McGuire. Good didn’t endorse Trump for president until DeSantis dropped out of the race early this year.

Trump’s campaign even sent Good’s team a cease-and-desist letter for using Trump’s name on yard signs without permission. Good also faced criticism in February after his campaign called the police on a group of Trump supporters after he was kicked out of a pro-Trump event, according to audio obtained exclusively by the Caller.

The incident was avoidable, one local official told the Caller.

“I personally called him the night before the incident at the Trump store in Farmville, Virginia, and asked him to please not come to the event as it was a scheduled signature event for John McGuire,” Buckingham County GOP Chair Ramona Christian said. “John McGuire had permission from the owner of the store and had planned the event with her. I called Bob Good the night before and said you are not welcome. The owner does not want you there, and you have not gone through the proper channels for yourself at this store.”

“He has told me that I was not a fellow sister in Christ if I supported John McGuire,” she added. “I have seen him scream at elderly women and college kids that did not agree with him. In my opinion, Bob‘s entire reason for running for office was to accumulate power.”

One Republican Hill staffer pushed back on the attacks against Good’s personal conduct, and suggested the resources spent on his primary were ultimately a waste for the party: “I hope the $10 million they spent on this primary aren’t needed in their general election races.”

Good’s crossing of Trump also lost him the support of key Republican lawmakers with the conservative base. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who endorsed McGuire, said “Good has been nothing but toxic to the Republican Party, the America First movement, and most importantly, to President Trump’s reelection efforts.”

According to Politico, there have been private conversations within the group about who will replace Good as the Chairman of the Freedom Caucus and if he will finish his term in Congress. Republican strategists and members of Congress also tell the Caller that he mismanaged the Freedom Caucus and that he is disliked by a lot of his fellow colleagues.

Left – Rep. Bob Good (R-VA) introduces the Defending Students Civil Rights Act, which is in opposition to Critical Race Theory, with fellow Republicans at the House Triangle, in Washington, DC on September 29, 2021. (Photo by Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images)Right – Del. John McGuire speaks at the Virginia Citizens Defense League Lobby Day rally for gun rights at Capitol Square in Richmond, Virginia on January 16, 2023. (Photo by Ryan M. Kelly for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

“Bob Good lost because he’s an asshole. Politics is about winning friends and influencing people, and Good is just bad at it — just look at the way he mismanaged his own Freedom Caucus,” one GOP strategist told the Caller. “Fellow members of Congress don’t like him and don’t trust him, and Virginians saw he was ineffective in advancing their interests because of it. Voters also recognized that he is a two-faced, ethically challenged, slippery politician. Trump’s endorsement against him was a powerful nail in the coffin of Good’s political career.”

Good’s expensive primary challenge fractured the Freedom Caucus in an unprecedented way — Ohio Rep. Warren Davidson, a caucus member, endorsed against his own chairman by backing McGuire. He cited the latter’s support for Trump.

Trump endorsed Good in 2020, before the messy primary battle with DeSantis kicked into full swing. McGuire is likely to coast to a victory in November’s general election — Good won the 2022 general election by more than 15 points.