GOP Lawmaker Launches Unsubstantiated Attack On ‘Fringe’ House Republicans

A primary campaign is underway in Texas to determine who will represent the state’s 23rd congressional district in the next legislative session — and incumbent U.S. Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-TX) has apparently adopted a scorched-earth strategy against primary rival Brandon Herrera and other fellow Republicans.

During a recent CNN interview, Gonzales assailed two House Republicans who offered their endorsements to Herrera.

He began by parroting unproven allegations against Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), claiming that the lawmaker “paid minors to have sex with them at drug parties.”

The unsubstantiated accusation was so brazen that even CNN host Dana Bash felt the need to push back, noting that “the federal government did look into Matt Gaetz and those allegations, and they decided not to prosecute.”

Gonzales also attacked both Rep. Bob Good (R-VA) and Herrera by labeling them racist extremists.

“Bob Good endorsed my opponent, a known neo-Nazi,” Gonzales asserted. “These people used to walk around with white hoods at night. Now they’re walking around with white hoods in the daytime.”

These personal jabs came after he widely cast aspersions on his colleagues, telling Bash: “It’s my absolute honor to be in Congress, but I serve with some real scumbags.”

Many of those lawmakers were incensed by his rhetoric, including Herrera, who reacted on social media by describing Gonzales as a “failure” and portraying his remarks as “the death spiral” of his re-election campaign.

“He has to cry to his liberal friends about me because Republicans won’t listen anymore,” the candidate added.

The interview appeared to be a net positive for Herrera, who added at least one new congressional endorsement to his campaign . Rep. Eli Crane (R-AZ) rejected the “pathetic” taunt and added: “We will never save the country with guys like Tony.”

When Bash asked her guest if his goal was to put lawmakers “in a box,” he reiterated his goal of speaking out against those he deems too extreme for Congress.

“For some reason, these fringe people think as if they have the high ground,” Gonzales complained. “They do not. I assure you, the rank-and-file members that normally are kind of easygoing, do the right thing, put their head down — they vote yes or no, but they’re not public about it. Those days are over. The fight is here.”