Movement-conservative icon, author, and direct-market pioneer Richard Viguerie threw down the gauntlet to establishment Republicans and the GOP leadership Tuesday, charging that conservatives “have been betrayed, abandoned by our leaders, and that includes Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Kevin McCarthy, [and] Reince Priebus at the Republican National Committee.”
Viguerie and other grass-roots conservative leaders are warning that Republicans who voted to end the shutdown on terms favorable to President Barack Obama and the Democrats will face major primary opposition in 2014.
“It’s a civil war in the GOP,” Viguerie declared Saturday in The New York Times.
Asked in an exclusive Newsmax interview Tuesday whether Republicans who went along with ending the shutdown will face a political bloodbath, Viguerie replied: “Oh, absolutely. It’s a war that’s been going on for 101 years, but limited-government conservatives have not been fully engaged. But now they are engaged.”
Viguerie had no hesitation in naming who will be challenged, either.
“We need to primary every single one of these big-government Republicans,” he said, “including Lamar Alexander, Mitch McConnell, [and] Thad Cochran down in Mississippi is being challenged.
“I hope John Cornyn in Texas is primaried,” he said, “and of course John Boehner is going to be primaried. I predict Eric Cantor will receive . . . [a] limited-government, constitutional-conservative challenge, [and] maybe [House Majority Whip] Kevin McCarthy, a key person there, [and] Pete Sessions from Texas.”