Many conservatives lashed out on social media after President Donald Trump suggested on Wednesday that Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) should face a primary challenge after Roy criticized the president’s experience in government.
Trump referred to the former chief of staff in Texas’s attorney general’s office, who was recently sworn in to the U.S. House of Representatives for the 21st Congressional District, as “a RINO Republican.”
The attack was met with immediate backlash from conservatives, who condemned the president’s tweet as “idiotic,” “childish,” and “despicable.”
Roy himself responded with a tweet of his own, saying that he stands for the principles of putting America first and fighting for limited government, free markets and individual liberty.
Utah congressional candidate Burgess Owens tweeted out that “no one is Office is more important than the Constitution,” and that it was “incredibly wrong” for Trump to call for Roy to face a primary challenge.
The criticism from prominent conservatives demonstrates the delicate balance the GOP must strike between backing the president in order to cement their majority in both houses ahead of the 2020 presidential election and giving voice to dissenting opinions within their ranks with regard to the president’s behavior.