GOP congressman blasts his own party for spreading 'bizarre' conspiracy theories about the election

GOP congressman blasts his own party for spreading 'bizarre' conspiracy theories about the election
CNN

Earlier this year in Virginia, conservative Rep. Denver Riggleman lost a GOP primary challenge after being slammed by Christian fundamentalists for officiating a same-sex wedding. Riggleman discussed the state of the Republican Party on Monday during an appearance on CNN, telling host Brianna Keilar that it is hard to ally himself with a party that demands such extreme purity tests and can't even acknowledge Joe Biden as president-elect.

Keilar asked Riggleman if he still considers himself a Republican, and the outgoing congressman responded, "As far as considering myself a constitutional republican, I do. But as far as the state of the GOP, especially in Virginia, it's very difficult to. And Brianna, you know the problem with this is that we get caught up in tribes — and we're so afraid to go away from the team. And right now, I'm tribeless…. I refuse to join another tribe."

Riggleman went on to say, "To be the first Republican to officiate a same-sex wedding — things like that — is why I got thrown out in a church parking lot…. And I think that's just how I'm wired: to be outspoken."

Riggleman lost a primary challenge to fellow Republican Bob Good, who attacked him for not being socially conservative enough. Good subsequently defeated Democrat Cameron Webb in the general election.

Riggleman stressed to Keilar that he refuses to kowtow to the extremes of the Republican Party, and he finds it ridiculous that many Republicans in Congress are afraid to publicly acknowledge Biden as president-elect.

"If I can't sit here and spit facts for people — if I am so afraid of my own shadow and of being part of a tribe that I don't have the ability to say what I feel, I really don't deserve to be sitting in the seat," Riggleman told told Keilar. "That's how I feel about it…. We're having a new president; I don't know what the difficulty is, Brianna, to say that."

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.

DonateDonate by credit card

Close

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.