Rep. Tim Huelskamp is citing a vote against his own party’s speaker in an appeal for campaign funds.
After the Kansas Republican took the “bold step” of voting against Rep. John A. Boehner last week, “the moderate wing of the Republican Party is outraged — and they are swiftly retaliating against conservatives like me. But I will not be intimidated,” he said in a campaign fundraising email.
“For my principled vote, Washington insiders are coming after me. I need your help and the help of 100 fellow conservatives immediately. If you are tired of Republicans who campaign as conservatives — but vote like Democrats — stand with me and make your contribution of $35 here,” the email said, offering a link to donate to Huelskamp’s campaign committee.
The email includes an accompanying photo of Boehner shaking President Barack Obama’s hand at the beginning of a State of the Union address with the caption, “Do you agree with my vote against John Boehner? Stand with me against the Washington Establishment.”
Huelskamp has emerged as a high-profile Boehner critic after he was thrown off the Budget and Agriculture committees in early December in a small purge of rebellious Republicans.
But using his newfound fame for fundraising might earn him additional enmity from fellow House Republicans.
“You have to be a special kind of person to think that’s a good idea,” a GOP House aide said.
In a post at RedState.com, Erick Erickson also warned darkly about retaliation against Republicans who voted against Boehner and put a favorable spotlight on freshman Rep. Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma for doing so.
Calling Bridenstine a “genuine bad ass” for voting against Boehner as his first act as a new member of Congress, Erickson said conservatives should “hang together” and linked twice to Bridenstine’s campaign website.
Boehner told GOP members Friday morning that he isn’t seeking vengeance against the coup plotters.
“I don’t hold grudges, and my door is always open to you,” the Ohio Republican told the defectors in his first closed-door meeting with his conference, after thanking those who had voted against him. Boehner received 220 votes for speaker, nine Republicans voted for someone else and three abstained from voting.
Requests for comment from the offices of Huelskamp and Boehner were not returned.