GOP Governor Larry Hogan Slams RNC Censure of Cheney, Kinzinger: 'Sad Day'

Maryland's GOP Governor Larry Hogan slammed the Republican National Committee for censuring Representatives Adam Kinzinger of Illinois and Liz Cheney of Wyoming on Friday.

The RNC on Thursday advanced a censure resolution against Cheney and Kinzinger, both Republicans, due to their opposition to former President Donald Trump and their involvement with the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack against the U.S. Capitol. The resolution was approved on Friday, although a number of prominent Republicans came out against the effort.

Kinzinger and Cheney have faced widespread backlash from fellow GOP lawmakers and Trump after they voted to impeach Trump following his supporters' attack against the U.S. Capitol just over a year ago. But some Republicans—like Hogan—continue to support and defend the two GOP lawmakers.

"The GOP I believe in is the party of freedom and truth," Hogan tweeted on Friday a little before the censure against Cheney and Kinzinger was approved. "It's a sad day for my party—and the country—when you're punished just for expressing your beliefs, standing on principle, and refusing to tell blatant lies."

Cheney and Kinzinger have consistently pushed back against Trump's and his allies' lies about the 2020 presidential election. The former president continues to claim that President Joe Biden won through widespread voter fraud, although no evidence has emerged substantiating the allegation. Hogan has also been highly critical of Trump and the misinformation he spreads about the election results.

Larry Hogan
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan called the censure of Representatives Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney by the RNC a "sad day" for the Republican Party and the United States. Above, Hogan holds a news conference on the state's COVID-19 situation at the Maryland State Capitol on August 5, 2021, in Annapolis, Maryland. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Several other prominent Republicans jumped to the defense of Cheney and Kinzinger on Thursday and Friday.

"Shame falls on a party that would censure persons of conscience, who seek truth in the face of vitriol. Honor attaches to Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger for seeking truth even when doing so comes at great personal cost," Senator Mitt Romney, a Utah Republican who voted to convict Trump in his 2020 and 2021 impeachment trials, posted to Twitter on Friday morning.

"As the former chairman of the Republican party, I cannot express enough my condemnation of this pathetic act of cowardice taken by its current leadership to censure ⁦@Liz_Cheney⁩ and ⁦@RepKinzinger⁩. You are wrong. I stand with Liz and Adam," former RNC chair Michael Steele, a longtime Trump critic, tweeted on Thursday.

For their part, Cheney and Kinzinger said they have no regrets about their opposition to Trump.

"The leaders of the Republican Party have made themselves willing hostages to a man who admits he tried to overturn a presidential election and suggests he would pardon Jan. 6 defendants, some of whom have been charged with seditious conspiracy," Cheney tweeted on Thursday.

"I'm a constitutional conservative, and I do not recognize those in my party who have abandoned the Constitution to embrace Donald Trump. History will be their judge. I will never stop fighting for our constitutional republic. No matter what," the Wyoming Republican added.

Kinzinger shared a series of Twitter posts on Thursday as well, asserting that he believed he has made the right choice.

"I have no regrets about my decision to uphold my oath of office and defend the Constitution. I will continue to focus my efforts on standing for truth and working to fight the political matrix that's led us to where we find ourselves today," the Illinois Republican wrote in a Thursday post.

Newsweek reached out to the RNC and several other Republican lawmakers for comment but did not immediately receive responses.