Right-wing pundit Rich Lowry is not impressed with former President Donald Trump's efforts to brand anyone who doesn't slavishly carry out his bidding as a "RINO," or "Republican in name only."
Writing in Politico, Lowry says that Trump has been frequently deploying the "RINO" pejorative against Republicans who refused to carry out his schemes to illegally stay in the White House after losing the 2020 presidential election.
However, Lowry notes that Trump's obsession with enforcing total loyalty to 2020 election falsehoods has significantly damaged the party, as Trump-backed election denying candidates including Kari Lake, Doug Mastriano, and Herschel Walker all crashed and burned in general elections.
"The 2022 midterms proved that an obsession with the 2020 election is electoral poison, such that a true RINO scheming to destroy the party from within would want as many Republicans to share this fixation as possible," Lowry comments.
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Lowry further argues that Trump's own loyalty to the GOP is far more tenuous than any other major Republican, as he has once again refused to say if he'll back a non-Trump 2024 nominee and has teased a third-party run should he be denied the nomination next year.
"Trump’s definition of a RINO is a travesty, and it’s used to abuse Republicans in good standing whose commitment to the party is deeper and more principled than his will ever be," Lowry concludes.