By Veronica Stracqualursi, CNN
Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois is calling out fellow Republicans for promoting or not speaking up against the racist “replacement” conspiracy theory that’s “getting people killed,” in light of the racist mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, over the weekend.
“The replacement theory they are pushing/tolerating is getting people killed,” he wrote on Twitter Sunday, adding that House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy and GOP Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina should be removed from office.
Kinzinger, a fierce critic of his those in own party who spread misinformation and who is not running for reelection, said on CNN’s “New Day” Wednesday that he’s asking for the Republican Party to “spit out the cancer.”
“Did they pull the trigger? No. Did they call this guy up and tell him to do it? Of course not. But when we, as a party or a movement or people like, frankly, Tucker Carlson, you know, throw out these theories or just fish in the waters of White replacement theory or echo some of those kind of fear-based things, you can’t be surprised when some people take that to the level of going and massacring people. You just can’t,” Kinzinger told CNN’s John Berman.
“You can’t fundraise, you can’t feed, you can’t live on fear because eventually you’re going to create fearful people, and fearful people can do really bad things. And I think that’s what we saw in Buffalo,” he added.
On Saturday, a gunman opened fire at a Buffalo, New York, supermarket, killing 10 people and injuring three others. Eleven of the 13 people shot were Black, officials said, and the massacre is being investigated as a hate crime.
In a 180-page document posted online and attributed to him, the suspect, an 18-year-old White man, fixated on the “replacement” theory, or the false belief that White Americans are being intentionally “replaced” by minorities and immigrants.
Once a fringe idea, replacement theory has been increasingly pushed into mainstream politics by conservatives, specifically Donald Trump and his followers, and recently become a talking point for Fox’s Carlson, as well as other conservatives in Congress.
In a separate post on Saturday, Kinzinger accused Rep. Elise Stefanik, the No. 3 House Republican, of pushing replacement theory by linking to media coverage of Stefanik’s Facebook ads last year, which suggested Democrats wanted to provide a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants so they would have a permanent liberal majority in Congress.
CNN had reached out to Stefanik about Kinzinger’s comment.
Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, another Republican who has been outspoken against their own party, said her party’s leadership has “enabled white nationalism, white supremacy, and anti-semitism.”
She said Republican leaders “must renounce and reject these views and those who hold them.”
™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.
CNN’s Zachary Wolf contributed to this report.