Marc Racicot, former Montana governor and ex-chair of the Republican National Convention, penned an open letter to current RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel on Sunday saying the committee would regret censuring GOP Reps. Liz Cheney (Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (Ill.) for their participation in the House Select Committee on Jan. 6.
Racicot’s wrote in his letter, published in the Billings Gazette, that he never imagined the committee he once chaired would “rebuke and desert” two Republican House members for “performing their assigned Congressional duties with honor and integrity.”
In early February, the RNC voted to formally censure Cheney and Kinzinger, the only Republicans on the House panel investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. The resolution accused the two lawmakers of taking part in the “persecution of ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse” by sitting on the committee.
Racicot, who served as RNC chair from 2001 to 2003, shot back at such a characterization, noting the committee’s stated purpose of investigating the circumstances that led to the attack on the Capitol. He wrote to McDaniel that confronting her and the committee in this way difficult for him, but said he felt compelled to do what he could in order to “protect our democracy and way of life.”
“Based on my decades of engagement in Republican politics, my intuition tells me that you and the other members of the RNC will come to regret, if you don’t already, the passage of the RNC Resolution,” Racicot said.
“It appears possible, and maybe even probable, that the RNC Resolution, with its incendiary language and histrionics, has advanced the very threat that you accuse Representatives Cheney and Kinzinger of creating, namely the diminution of the chances for Republican electoral success in 2022.”
He advised McDaniel and the RNC to be aware of the “Great Middle of America,” which he said was organizing itself not by party affiliation, but by “standards of decency, integrity, honor and faithfulness to the best interests of the Republic.”
According to Racicot, many Republicans who are “less dangerous than those who breached the Capitol” are seeking a return to “simple, timeless and enduring values.” He urged McDaniel withdraw and dismiss the RNC’s resolution censuring Cheney and Kinzinger.
“I urge the pursuit of this remedy with the understanding that we’re human, that politics is a competitive enterprise and that sometimes we make mistakes,” he wrote. “But I also believe in such a situation the final measure of our character is whether we have the insight and courage to humbly and honestly correct them.”