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Trump bringing back RINO attacks against Republicans

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A decades-old phrase, “Republican In Name Only,” or RINO for short, is making a comeback, as former President Donald Trump has been using the term to insult political opponents within his party. Political Dictionary defines RINO as “a disparaging term that refers to Republicans whose political views are seen as insufficiently conforming to the party line.” 

 “I think you know, over the last, you know, 10-12 years where this sort of team mentality has become more a tribal mentality,” said Dan Judy, a Republican strategist, consultant, and vice president at North Star Opinion Research. “It takes on an even stronger connotation because you say this person they’re not just on our team they’re not one of us, and so I think that’s why you’re seeing you know, the RINO label is maybe thrown around more than it used to be.”

One of the first documented uses of the phrase “Republican In Name Only” was in a speech by Gov. Benjamin Perry (D-SC). On August 2, 1865, he was quoted in The Star of the North newspaper.

“I thought Mr. Chairman wrote that when the Southern States seceded, there was an end to republican institutions, that the great American experiment was a failure,” Gov. Perry said. “And that we should soon have, both at the North and in the South, strong military governments, which would be republican in name only.” 

Decades later, Republicans used the phrase during President Teddy Roosevelt’s battle to control the Republican party.

On March 3, 1908, The Los Angeles Herald published an article that read, “Mr. Roosevelt, according to Republicans who have found fault with his utterances, is a Republican in name only.”

In the 1990s, political candidates wore suit jackets bearing RINO buttons with red slashes going through them. The Tea Party also used the acronym during the 2010 midterm election to belittle incumbents they thought were not conservative enough. In 2021, RINO is being used to describe some of the most conservative Republicans.

This political ad aired in the Midwest to describe Gov. Mike DeWine (R-OH).

“This is a RINO,” the narrator said. “Having mastered the art of deception, the RINO lures his prey by disguising his true nature.”

Trump condemned several Congressional Republicans by calling them RINOs for voting to certify Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 election. 

“He’s a grandstanding RINO,” the former president said during a campaign-style rally, referring to Rep. Anthony Gonzales (R-OH).

Gonzales was one of 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump following the January 6 Capitol riot

“The people that are tossing around this term are those that are really just like, hijacking the party, those that are totally detached from what actually it means to be Republican,” longtime Republican and attorney Douglas Lipsky said.

“Initially, it was about ideology, where, you know, a real Republican was conservative or Republican in name only was a moderate or, you know, maybe even a liberal Republican or a liberal Republicans left. But now the term is not ideological at all,” Judy said.

 

JIMMIE JOHNSON: WHAT IS A RINO? NOT THAT KIND. THIS KIND. REPUBLICAN IN NAME ONLY. THE PHRASE HAS BEEN AROUND FOR MORE THAN A CENTURY. AND, IT’S MAKING A RETURN THANKS TO A NEW WAVE OF REPUBLICANS. LET ME EXPLAIN. 

A RINO ACCORDING TO POLITICAL DICTIONARY IS A DISPARAGING TERM THAT REFERS TO A REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE WHOSE POLITICAL VIEWS ARE SEEN AS INSUFFICIENTLY CONFORMING TO THE PARTY LINE.”

BUT THE MEANING AND USAGE HAVE CHANGED OVER TIME. 

POLITICAL AD: “This is a RINO. Having mastered the art of deception, the RINO lures his prey by disguising his true nature.”

JIMMIE: FROM POLITICAL ADS TO CAMPAIGN-STYLE RALLIES THERE’S BEEN A LOT OF RINO SLINGING IN THE G-O-P. 

TRUMP: “He’s a grandstanding RINO.”

FOR MOST OF HIS LIFE, ATTORNEY DOUGLAS LIPSKY HAS BEEN A DIE-HARD REPUBLICAN CAMPAIGNING FOR EVERY ONE OF HIS PARTY’S PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEES FROM FORMER SENATOR BOB DOLE TO SENATOR MITT ROMNEY. 

BUT THE POLITICAL PARTY LIPSKY GREW TO KNOW, AND LOVE IS CHANGING, LEADING HIM TO ASK, WHO ARE THE RINO’S AND WHO ARE THE REAL REPUBLICANS. 

LIPSKY: “The people that are tossing around this term are those that are really just like, hijacking the party, those that are totally detached from what actually it means to be Republican.”

JIMMIE: ONE OF THEM, ACCORDING TO LIPSKY, IS FORMER PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP. 

IN THE PAST YEAR, TRUMP SENT MULTIPLE TWEETS CALLING REPUBLICANS RINOS – INCLUDING  CONGRESSIONAL REPUBLICANS WHO RECOGNIZED JOE BIDEN AS THE WINNER OF THE 2020 ELECTION AND THOSE WHO VOTED TO IMPEACH HIM.

MAKING THE TERM NOW MEAN THOSE WHO LACK LOYALTY. 

LIPSKY: “Those that are now being called RINOS are the traditional Republicans that we were familiar with seeing 10-15 years ago.”

JIMMIE: BUT THE TERM RINO DIDN’T START OUT THAT WAY.

ONE OF THE FIRST DOCUMENTED USES OF THE TERM DATES BACK TO 1865 IN THIS PENNSYLVANIA NEWSPAPER.

DECADES LATER, IT BECAME POPULARIZED DURING TEDDY ROOSEVELT’S FIGHT TO CONTROL THE PARTY. 

AT THE TIME, THE LOS ANGELES HERALD WROTE, “MR. ROOSEVELT, ACCORDING TO REPUBLICANS WHO HAVE FOUND FAULT WITH HIS UTTERANCES, IS A REPUBLICAN IN NAME ONLY”.

FAST FORWARD TO THE 19-90’S WHEN BUTTONS WITH A RED SLASH THROUGH THE PICTURE OF A RHINO DONNED THE LAPELS OF POLITICAL CANDIDATES.

THEN DURING THE 20-10 MIDTERM ELECTION, THE TEA PARTY USED THE PHRASE RINO TO DISPARAGE PRIMARY INCUMBENTS WHO THEY CLAIM WERE NOT CONSERVATIVE ENOUGH.

THAT SAME STRATEGY IS SEEMINGLY PLAYING OUT WITH A NEW CLASS OF RINOS. 

LIPSKY: “I would like to vote Republican once again. But these current leaders aren’t exactly welcoming us back — I’m a RINO to them.”

JIMMIE: WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON REPUBLICANS USE OF THE TERM RINO? 

LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW, AND BE SURE TO RATE THIS STORY USING OUR BIAS METER. 

 

A decades-old phrase, “Republican In Name Only,” or RINO for short, is making a comeback, as former President Donald Trump has been using the term to insult political opponents within his party. Political Dictionary defines RINO as “a disparaging term that refers to Republicans whose political views are seen as insufficiently conforming to the party line.” 

 “I think you know, over the last, you know, 10-12 years where this sort of team mentality has become more a tribal mentality,” said Dan Judy, a Republican strategist, consultant, and vice president at North Star Opinion Research. “It takes on an even stronger connotation because you say this person they’re not just on our team they’re not one of us, and so I think that’s why you’re seeing you know, the RINO label is maybe thrown around more than it used to be.”

One of the first documented uses of the phrase “Republican In Name Only” was in a speech by Gov. Benjamin Perry (D-SC). On August 2, 1865, he was quoted in The Star of the North newspaper.

“I thought Mr. Chairman wrote that when the Southern States seceded, there was an end to republican institutions, that the great American experiment was a failure,” Gov. Perry said. “And that we should soon have, both at the North and in the South, strong military governments, which would be republican in name only.” 

Decades later, Republicans used the phrase during President Teddy Roosevelt’s battle to control the Republican party.

On March 3, 1908, The Los Angeles Herald published an article that read, “Mr. Roosevelt, according to Republicans who have found fault with his utterances, is a Republican in name only.”

In the 1990s, political candidates wore suit jackets bearing RINO buttons with red slashes going through them. The Tea Party also used the acronym during the 2010 midterm election to belittle incumbents they thought were not conservative enough. In 2021, RINO is being used to describe some of the most conservative Republicans.

This political ad aired in the Midwest to describe Gov. Mike DeWine (R-OH).

“This is a RINO,” the narrator said. “Having mastered the art of deception, the RINO lures his prey by disguising his true nature.”

Trump condemned several Congressional Republicans by calling them RINOs for voting to certify Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 election. 

“He’s a grandstanding RINO,” the former president said during a campaign-style rally, referring to Rep. Anthony Gonzales (R-OH).

Gonzales was one of 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump following the January 6 Capitol riot

“The people that are tossing around this term are those that are really just like, hijacking the party, those that are totally detached from what actually it means to be Republican,” longtime Republican and attorney Douglas Lipsky said.

“Initially, it was about ideology, where, you know, a real Republican was conservative or Republican in name only was a moderate or, you know, maybe even a liberal Republican or a liberal Republicans left. But now the term is not ideological at all,” Judy said.

 

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