Apr 25, 2024 - Politics & Policy

GOP lawmakers cheer conservative media slams on Marjorie Taylor Greene

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

GOP lawmakers who identify as Reagan Republicans are applauding right-wing media outlets' attacks on Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), arguing the shift in tone could help them in their fight against populism.

Why it matters: While Greene has taken heat from some allies, she still has a number of prominent voices taking aim at Speaker Mike Johnson.

  • Former senior White House adviser Steve Bannon has railed against the speaker and those who voted for the Ukraine aid bill, calling for Johnson's ouster.
  • While the Ukraine funding passed both chambers, it's expected to be a point of contention in primary challenges and it's placed Johnson in his most tenuous position since getting the gavel.

Zoom in: Frustrations with prominent right-wing lawmakers and media figures over anti-Ukraine rhetoric are boiling over.

  • Greene's critics pointed to the New York Post cover dubbing the Georgia Republican "Moscow Marjorie," and Fox News running an op-ed calling her "an idiot," as potentially helpful for frontliners in November.
  • "Moscow Marjorie — incredible," one GOP member told Axios.
  • Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) took aim at Tucker Carlson for the delay on a vote for Ukraine funding, arguing "he had an enormous audience."

Between the lines: "I think that while the AOCs and the MTGs of the world will always be used as lightning rods what I think is also going to be prevalent is the Republican Speaker brought forth these bills ... because he thought they were good for the country," another GOP lawmaker told Axios.

  • Too many are trying to duck under the radar and this means the loud stupid voices are dominating," one lawmaker said.
  • "It [Greene's comments] has been very disruptive. But in the end I still think it comes down to rank partisanship. The Democrats early on made this their issue. They wear the pins on their lapels," another told Axios.
  • Greene's office did not reply to Axios requests for comment.

The bottom line: "Moral relativism has seeped into conservative movement, also, and it's kissing cousin is identity politics and this populism that has just been infected with unprincipled populism," one former GOP leader told Axios.

  • "The party has kind of morphed over the last 10, 20 years and this was a counter trend," another GOP lawmaker told Axios.
  • "[T]his was a reassertion towards Reagan Republicans who understand ... that strength sometimes requires a monetary investment to overseas partners and allies," one GOP lawmaker said.

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to reflect that Mitch McConnell is the Senate minority leader.

Go deeper