As President Donald Trump the day after Election Day read off a list of defeated Republicans whose losses he attributed to not embracing his endorsement on the campaign trail, Illinois Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger watched in disgust.
“I wish the president had shown some more grace in that and said ‘Thank you for your service,’ instead of ‘It’s because you didn’t back me,’” the 16th District congressman said in an interview with CNN Tuesday. “I was very disgusted when I heard that.”
Kinzinger made a different case: That some of those candidates suffered losses in a wave of backlash to the White House.
“Some of them lost because people, frankly, were voting against the president,” he said.
“I was disgusted when I heard it… a little more grace would have been a lot better.”
GOP @RepKinzinger slams Pres. Trump for his ungracious words about Utah Rep. Mia Love for pulling away from him during her race, claiming it led to her loss (CNN has not yet called that race.) pic.twitter.com/Cpo1TOZJbJ
— New Day (@NewDay) November 13, 2018
Costello declined to run for reelection this cycle, facing tough political realities in his district.
Costello also placed the blame for the party’s losses squarely on the president’s shoulders. He said even candidates who eschewed Trump on the campaign trail should be credited with advancing the White House’s policy agenda.
“The president should be thanking them for putting up the tough votes,” he said last week.
Watch: Trump Declares Success in the Midterms, Spars With CNN Reporter