GOP Lawmaker Fires Back at Fox News Host Who Called for His Defeat: 'Outrage for Profit'

Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger of Illinois fired back at Fox News' Mark Levin on New Year's Eve after the host called for his defeat in the next GOP primary.

In a series of Thursday tweets, Levin called Kinzinger a "very devious and reckless politician," and called on Republican voters to oust him in the next election cycle.

"He was elected as a Tea Party candidate 10 years ago and quickly turned on them. He is now an activist for the administrative state and against constitutionalists," the host said. "He should be defeated at the ballot box in the next Republican primary."

Kinzinger quickly responded by calling Levin "The Godfather of 'outrage for profit'" who has "for some reason been obsessed with me for a while."

"I guess I hit a nerve. Don't flatter yourself, Hollywood," Levin shot back. "And don't worry about my finances. I pay your overpaid salary. Just do your damn job."

I guess I hit a nerve. Don’t flatter yourself, Hollywood. And don’t worry about my finances. I pay your overpaid salary. Just do your damn job. https://t.co/sDsnRxokJ7

— Mark R. Levin (@marklevinshow) January 1, 2021

Kinzinger concluded the online dispute by sharing a headline from April 2016 that showed Levin saying, "I would never vote for Trump." The Illinois lawmaker called the Fox News host's statement, a "pre-grift."

This was pre-grift https://t.co/xPGahE01aW pic.twitter.com/BpWTOhNoHW

— Adam Kinzinger (@RepKinzinger) January 1, 2021

Levin initially targeted Kinzinger for publicly criticizing President Donald Trump and his allies over efforts to oppose the Electoral College certification of President-elect Joe Biden's win.

"Unsurprisingly, he's celebrated by the Dem-Party media," Levin tweeted. "His attack on those earnestly trying to fix what the Dems broke during this election cycle & their efforts to prevent further usurpations of the Constitution (as they've announced their intentions), is unconscionable."

On Wednesday, Kinzinger predicted that more than 100 members of the Republican party could step forward to challenge the congressional certification of electoral votes on January 6. "I hope I'm wrong," Kinzinger said on The Bulwark Podcast. "I'm guessing it could be upwards of 100."

One day later, Kinzinger shared a video to YouTube debunking Trump's unverified allegations of widespread voter fraud, which he claims caused his election loss to Biden, and addressing the prevalence of political conspiracy theories in America.

"The president doesn't want to admit defeat and nobody would, but he's currently trying to discredit the election results through falsehoods and conspiracies," Kinzinger said. "As someone entrusted to lead, I have a choice. I can be quiet and I can survive by taking the easy path or I can speak up and lead without concern for the consequences. I choose to lead without fear."

The lawmaker, one of the president's most vocal critics within the GOP, has said Trump's attempts at overturning the election "ain't gonna work," while predicting that the president will "never admit he lost so he'll always blame somebody else."

All 50 U.S. states have now certified their electoral votes. Biden secured 306 Electoral College votes, surpassing the 270 needed to win the presidential election.

Newsweek reached out to Fox News for comment.

Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger in Capitol Hill
Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger questions witnesses during a House Committee on Foreign Affairs hearing on Capitol Hill on September 16, 2020. Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty