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Watch now: Rep. Kinzinger launches new political action committee

Watch now: Rep. Kinzinger launches new political action committee

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WASHINGTON — In a video released Sunday morning, U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger announced the formation of a new leadership political action committee, launching what he hopes will become a movement.

“This is no time for silence, this is no time for silence,” he said. “Not after the last month. Not after the last few years. Someone needs to tell the truth. Someone needs to say what history needs to hear. So here I am. The Republican Party has lost its way. If we are to lead again, we need to muster the courage to remember who we are. We need to remember what we believe and why we believe it.”

Kinzinger was one of 10 Republicans to vote to impeach Donald Trump, and on Sunday, he unveiled his Country 1st PAC.

“The party that always spoke of a brighter tomorrow, it no longer does,” he said. “It talks about a darker future instead. Hope has given way to fear. Outrage has replaced opportunity, and worst of all, deep convictions have been ignored. They have been replaced by poisonous conspiracies and lies. This is not the Republican road and now we know exactly where this new and dangerous road leads. It leads to insurrection and an armed attack on Congress.”

Kinzinger talks about being in the Capitol on Jan. 6, hearing shots fired inside the building.

“America will never be the same,” he said. “America must never again have a day like that.”

Kinzinger, who was first elected to Congress in 2010 and who represents Illinois's 16th Congressional District, also appeared on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday morning.

"The former president is desperate to continue to look like he's leading the party," he told Chuck Todd. "And the problem is, until we push back and say, 'This is not a Trump-first party, this is a country-first party.' In some cases, you may support Donald Trump in that effort. But in my case, I believe that that's a whole new movement. Until we all kind of stand up and say that, we're going to be kind of chasing our tail here in the situation. And that's why I launched Country1st.com. It's a landing place for people to go to. And we'll see how it develops. But there's a lot of folks out there that have texted me, called me, written, everything, that say, 'Thank you for saying something because nobody else has been.'"

Kinzinger is a 1996 Normal Community West High graduate and in 1998, while a student at Illinois State University at the age of 20, won a seat on the McLean County Board.

"It's a time to choose what we're going to be," he added. "And my goal in launching Country1st.com with the number one is just to say, look, let's take a look at the last four years, how far we have come in a bad way. How backwards looking we are, how much we peddle darkness and division. And that's not the party I ever signed up for. And I think most Republicans didn't sign up for that."

Kinzinger said the future of the GOP is on the line and what we do will determine where America goes from here.

"But let's be clear, this is not about me," he said in a statement coinciding with the release of the video. "I may be among the first to stand up, but I know I won't be standing alone. Our movement is about principles, our future, and saving the greatest country the world has ever known. We are blessed beyond measure to call it home, and our politics and our parties must start to live up to America's promise."

Kinzinger announced a new website as part of the PAC’s launch at country1st.com/.

“The Republican Party was made for this challenge,” he said. “Once again, we have been called by history. We can rise to meet our moment or we can let it pass us by. It’s now or never. The choice is ours. I have made mine. And I hope every Republican and every American who shares our values, will choose to join me. Let’s take back our party.”


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Contact Kevin Barlow at (309) 820-3238. Follow him on Twitter: @pg_barlow

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