Right-wing radio hosts side with Trump, calling Republicans who support impeachment traitors

Local hosts are turning on Republican representatives from their states who voted in favor of impeachment

Right-wing talk radio hosts are rallying around President Donald Trump after the House of Representatives impeached him for a second time, and they’re targeting elected Republicans who support the effort.

On Wednesday, Trump was impeached for his role in inciting a mob that stormed the Capitol on January 6. For many in pro-Trump media, any GOP support for the impeachment, no matter how small, signals an attempt by the Republican “establishment” to take the party back from Trump voters.

Even before the vote took place, right-wing media figures were already lashing out at elected Republicans who seemed likely to support the impeachment. In particular, talk radio hosts singled out Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), the chair of the House Republican Conference who announced her support on Tuesday, and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who has reportedly indicated that he might be in favor of convicting Trump in a Senate trial.

After Trump was impeached, some local hosts criticized the 10 Republican representatives who voted in favor of impeachment. These hosts are also beginning to turn their attention to the upcoming Senate trial, with one host predicting that “there is not a conservative in this country that will vote” for Republicans again if they “dare to convict” Trump.

Talk radio hosts are attacking Republicans who support impeachment

  • On Wednesday, Virginia-based host John Fredericks declared that he welcomed an impeachment vote because he wants “a record of the quislings” in the Republican Party. Fredericks also attacked Cheney as the “queen of the warmongers” and encouraged Republicans to primary those disloyal to Trump.

John Fredericks: "I want a record of the quislings"

Audio file

Citation From the January 13, 2021, edition of WHKT's The John Fredericks Show

  • Fox personality Mark Levin attacked McConnell as a “leaker” and a “player” and claimed that Cheney’s statement in support of the impeachment was “utterly false.”
  • Before the vote on Wednesday, Mark Steyn, guest hosting for Rush Limbaugh, claimed that Republicans in favor of impeachment are “trying to calibrate the precise moment at which it’s best to slip the shiv to President Trump.”
  • Florida host Joyce Kaufman complained about “watching these rats jump off the ship, which really is only sinking because they’re so stupid.” Kaufman singled out Cheney, saying, “Liz Cheney can kiss my Darth Vader. … You don’t grow up in the Cheney household with your priorities being principles and morality.”
  • After reading part of Cheney’s statement in support of the impeachment, Ohio host Bob Frantz said, “Liz Cheney is now dead to me as a politician. Not that I was ever a big fan anyway, but that was ridiculous and wholly unsupported and unsubstantiated by the facts.”
  • Lars Larson, a host popular in Oregon and Washington, called for a primary challenge against Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) on Twitter after she announced her support for the impeachment.
  • After the House vote on Wednesday, host Joe Pagliarulo began warning GOP senators against voting to convict. Pagliarulo predicted, “If the Republicans vote to convict this guy, that’s it for the Republican Party. There is not a conservative in this country that will vote for them again if they dare to convict him on impeachment which of course is specious and dumb and a Nancy Pelosi game.”

Joe Pagliarulo: "If the Republicans vote to convict this guy, that’s it for the Republican Party."

Audio file

Citation From the January 13, 2021, edition of Compass Media Networks' The Joe Pags Show

  • Ohio host Mike Trivisonno encouraged his audience to vote out Republican representatives who voted in favor of the impeachment, including Rep. Anthony Gonzales (R-OH): “Remember those names when you head to the polls on voting day, whenever that may be.”
  • Steve Gruber, a local host in Michigan, complained on Thursday that the 10 Republicans who voted in favor of the impeachment were “drawn to it just like the mob followed into the Capitol. They are no better in my estimation.” Gruber specifically targeted Rep. Peter Meijer (R-MI), hosting a potential Republican challenger to Meijer in 2022 and arguing that Meijer’s “political career may have ended after a week in Washington.”