Embittered Republicans plot to knock off House GOP’s hard-right leader in Virginia primary feud

Rep. Derrick Van Orden has had it with Rep. Bob Good.

Good, leader of the House Freedom Caucus, and one of eight Republicans that voted to remove Kevin McCarthy as speaker, has been in the middle of a fierce internal GOP fight which has left the agenda of their party in tatters, and their conference in an ugly civil war.

Van Orden is now working with a group of House Republicans to get rid of Good in his June primary, by supporting his primary rival John McGuire. This tactic has long been viewed as a serious violation of protocol. However, it highlights the bad blood between the House GOP.

“Bob Good did not come here to rule.” Van Orden, Wisconsin Republican, said to CNN that Good came here “to be famous”. “Bob Good is wearing our jersey and he’s on the team,”

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Van Orden said: “If you take a look at the things we haven’t been able accomplish in this Congress it is primarily because of Bob Good, and his like.”

But Good will not be deterred.

Good, who barnstormed his district with other House GOP hardliners like Reps. Matt Gaetz from Florida, Andy Biggs from Arizona, and Chip Roy from Texas last week, said that voters in his district didn’t care what the Wisconsin colleague thought. He accused his Republican colleagues of Washington of voting in a way that undermined the conservative cause and hurt the country.

They’ve never heard about Derrick Van Orden. He said that his constituents could not care less about what Derrick Van Orden thought. Later, he told CNN that the questions about Republican colleagues turning on him were “stupid.”

“You ask questions about things that no one cares about. “You bring up Derrick Van Orden which is a joke,” said he.

Good continued, “RINOs and establishment moderates have no influence on Republican primary elections.” My constituents are concerned about conservative, courageous warriors such as those who have endorsed me and been here today.

The toxic infighting in the House GOP is part of an ongoing battle for the direction of Republicans. Good and his group of members are against compromises and achieving consensus with Democrats, which many Republicans in Washington believe is the best way to govern a divided government.

“This is the biggest primary in the nation,” Gaetz said. He led the charge against McCarthy and has attacked two other Republicans who are currently in office in their primaries this cycle. “Bob’s our masthead. Bob Good is our leader in the House of conservatives. He will get us all on the same page and ensure that the interests of the people are placed above special interests. They hate us. “But you know, there are many more of us.”

McGuire, a former Navy Seal and former Navy SEAL, said in an interview with the New York Times on Friday that Good’s behavior is “embarrassing”, while calling out fellow Republicans by name is “childish.”

McGuire stated, “I think that my opponent is a guy who has no solutions and just wants to destroy everything.” “I believe that we need leaders who want to grow our party and unite the country,” McGuire said.

McGuire said: “If you’re helping the Democrat side to take out the Republican side, who is a RINO?”

Good, 58 years old, won his first election in 2020 by defeating a moderate Republican incumbent, Denver Riggleman. He is one of the four Republicans being targeted by their own party members. Other cases involve far-right Republicans who are trying to eliminate colleagues they deem too conservative.

It’s now the center-right that is striking back, including McCarthy’s allies and a new outside GOP group which has begun to attack Good.

Austin Scott, a Georgia representative, said that Good’s vote against McCarthy was a factor in the House GOP’s effort to defeat him. McGuire is a great candidate for our team, but I think it’s more important than just that.

McGuire claimed that McCarthy had not recruited him, but told CNN he spoke with him recently and described him as a “nice man,” adding that McCarthy informed him about “what happens in Congress.”

In an interview, he stated that he would vote to keep McCarthy as Speaker.

McGuire stated, “I never would have in a million year partnered with the opposing party to remove our leader.” “I’d imagine that Nancy Pelosi would have said, ‘Let’s get this straight.’ You want to work with us to remove your best leader, who has the most influence and institutional knowledge without a plan?

A group of mainly defense-minded House Republicans, some of whom had sparred with Good about Pentagon spending, raised big money for McGuire in a private fundraising event earlier this month. McGuire said that House Armed Services chairman Mike Rogers, of Alabama, called Good “a danger to our country” at the event.

Rogers refused to comment when asked by CNN about his efforts to knockoff Good, saying “I have no comment.” His office has not responded to a comment request regarding his remarks made at the fundraiser.

The Trump factor

Donald Trump is perhaps Good’s biggest challenge. Good supported Florida Gov. during the GOP primary. Ron DeSantis was his choice, stating that he would prefer a candidate with the ability to serve eight years, as opposed to just four years, like Trump.

Good’s primary support for DeSantis is the target of a new attack ad from a new outside organization, Virginians for Conservative Leadership PAC. The ad says: “Bob Good does not believe in Trump.”

Good’s signs read: “Trump and Bob Good: Making America Great.” He was campaigning with Mark Meadows, Trump’s former chief-of-staff, who had compared Good to the former President.

Meadows said to voters, “I’m not only proud that Bob was willing to stand up; he has taken arrows.” Meadows told voters, “It was a privilege to serve with a president who also took arrows. You know what else? “When you run away from the arrows, they end up hitting another person.”

Good brushed off questions in the interview about his support for DeSantis.

When asked if he regretted endorsing DeSantis, Good replied to CNN: “Why not get on with the present?” It’s time to rally around President Trump. My opponent wants to keep dividing people on the basis of the past. We are all behind President Trump. He must win. “The country cannot handle Joe Biden for four more years.”

Good’s opponents won’t forget that he supported DeSantis up until the Iowa caucuses, when he pulled out.

“I think that we all dislike politicians who say one thing publicly and another in private. You can’t really trust them.”