Former GOP Ethics Lawyer Explains Why 'We Need to Get the Republicans Out of the House and Senate'

Richard Painter is best known for his position as the White House's chief ethics lawyer under the Republican President George W. Bush, but he's running for the Senate in Minnesota as a Democrat.


He'll be running in the party primary against Sen. Tina Smith, who replaced Sen. Al Franken after he stepped down when multiple women accused him of unwanted groping.

On MSNBC Monday, he explained why he's decided to make his first foray into electoral politics and why he is running so passionately against the Republican Party. 

"I've been a Republican for a long time and tried to turn the Republican party around on a range of different issues, but I've given up," he said. 

On the topic of his Democratic opponent, he said Smith is not going "as good a job as she could do. But I want to start with the fact that the number one priority is we need to get the Republicans out of the House and Senate who are not standing up to President Trump, that's the number one priority, whether the victor in the fall is myself or Tina Smith."

He added that Smith should "be a lot stronger against President Trump. She should have come out against his trade war, which is going to destroy agriculture in our state. She should call for his removal from office, quite frankly, because he is not showing that he can conduct himself as president in accordance with the Constitution."

Watch the clip below:

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close
alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.