Huffpost Politics

Richard Hanna, GOP Congressman, Slams His Own Party

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Republican Congressman Richard Hanna does not approve of his party.
Republican Congressman Richard Hanna does not approve of his party.

Freshman Congressman Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.) must have had something in his ears when President Ronald Reagan spoke about the 11th Commandment of American politics: "Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican."

“I have to say that I’m frustrated by how much we -- I mean the Republican Party -- are willing to give deferential treatment to our extremes in this moment in history,” Hanna recently told The Syracuse Post-Standard editorial board, specifically taking Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-Minn.) and other Republicans to task for their attack against Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's aide, Huma Abedin, over debunked links to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Comparing the political parties to sports teams, Hanna also told the Post-Standard that members of Congress were overly devoted to partisan victory and that his Republican colleagues were less hospitable than those on the other side of the aisle.

“If all people do is go down there and join a team, and the team is invested in winning and you have something that looks very similar to the shirts and the skins, there’s not a lot of value there,” Hanna said. Democrats in Congress, he continued, are "much more congenial" and show "a little less anger."

On Tuesday, Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) suggested in a tweet that Hanna switch parties because he and his colleagues agreed with the Republican's contention that the House GOP majority is "incapable of governing."


Jim McDermott
I invite to switch parties & join Caucus. We agree: GOP is "Incapable of Governing"

Hanna, considered a moderate, has bucked the GOP party line on several issues since taking office in 2011. He was one of the few Republicans in the House to vote against cutting off federal funding to Planned Parenthood.

In March, Hanna told a crowd that they should donate to Democrats if they were concerned about women's rights.

"I think these are very precarious times for women, it seems. So many of your rights are under assault," Hanna said. "I'll tell you this: Contribute your money to people who speak out on your behalf, because the other side -- my side -- has a lot of it."

Hanna hails from the 24th Congressional District of New York, a swing district that has flipped between Democrats and Republicans over the last few election cycles.

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