Former President Donald Trump took flak from a number of conservatives on Tuesday after he attacked Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, as a ‘RINO,’ or Republican in name only, and called for him to face a primary challenge.
‘Has any smart and energetic Republican in the Great State of Texas decided to run in the Primary against RINO Congressman Chip Roy. For the right person, he is very beatable. If interested, let me know!!!’ Trump wrote in a post on Truth Social late Monday after Roy appeared in Iowa in support of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ presidential campaign.
Conservative politicians and commentators quickly jumped to Roy’s defense on social media, blasting Trump’s comments as ‘laughably insane’ and ‘idiotic.’
‘While [Chip Roy] is fighting to do what Donald Trump promised to do — secure our southern border — the former president is on social media demanding a primary challenge to one of the most conservative members of Congress,’ DeSantis wrote before noting that the filing deadline for candidates in Texas had already passed.
‘I stand with Chip and am honored to have his support. The time for talking is over. We must stop the invasion, and I will get it done,’ he added.
Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., a supporter of DeSantis’ campaign for president, also said he stood with Roy before calling Trump’s comments a ‘shortsighted effort to intimidate’ him.
‘I support you for President, [Donald Trump]. But I’m 100% on board with [Chip Roy]. Chip is no RINO. He’s an American hero. He’s a constitutionalist. He’s a patriot. And most of all, he’s a good man who selflessly serves in Congress,’ American Blockchain PAC CEO Jim Pfaff wrote.
Stephen Miller, a contributing editor at The Spectator, wrote, ‘Trump, who caved on bump stocks and Fauci is calling Chip Roy of Texas a RINO and to be primaried it’s just laughable at this point. It’s laughably insane. Run it back, guys.’
Conservative commentator John Cardillo called Trump’s attack on Roy an ‘idiotic lie,’ and said anyone who didn’t call out the former president’s ‘stupidity’ was a ‘cultist.’
‘This is so nuts as to be comical. If you think Chip Roy — Chip Roy — is a RINO, then words have no meaning,’ Mark Krikorian, the executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies wrote.
Roy also posted his own response to Trump’s attack, simply posting a photo of the former president with Dr. Anthony Fauci, a figure often scorned by conservatives.
Roy is currently running unopposed in the Republican primary for Texas’ 21st Congressional District, which he has represented since 2019.
When reached for comment, Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung told Fox News Digital, ‘Chip Roy made a blunder endorsing a moron like Ron DeSanctus, who is violently falling out of the sky like a wounded bird.’