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State Rep. Adam Morgan (R-SC) told national radio host Todd Starnes that establishment Republicans are pushing conservatives out of his state’s Republican caucus.
The state representative explained South Carolina’s Republican caucus asked all members to sign a pledge vowing not to “engage in campaign activities in any form” against other members of the caucus.
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If they signed the pledge, the representatives would be banned from calling out members of their own party when they vote against the Republican platform.
Morgan and other members of the Freedom Caucus felt they could not, in good conscience, sign the pledge.
“And I had members that said, ‘I’m not going to pledge that. I don’t even know what I’m pledging to. It’s undefined, and in good conscience, I can’t,'” Morgan said. “So we told them that and they just ignored us and pushed it through.”
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Later, a South Carolina GOP leader notified the media and the members of the Freedom Caucus that they were to be removed from the larger Republican Caucus.
Morgan suggested that the conservative members are being targeted by their fellow Republicans because they adhere to the Republican platform.
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“And yeah, I think people, establishment types, are probably wanting to marginalize and alienate and even get us out of the room so that they can, you know, run the party the way that they want to. But we are literally just pushing the Republican Party platform issues. That is what we fight for. So if anybody gets the moniker of Republican, it’s us. It’s not the ones who don’t want to follow that platform,” Morgan told Starnes.
LISTEN TO THE FULL CONVERSATION HERE:
The following is a rush transcript from the Todd Starnes Show which airs daily from noon – 3:00 p.m. ET.
TODD STARNES: [00:40:07] I want to head right over to the Patriot Mobile Newsmaker Line. We’re honored to have with us from South Carolina State Representative Adam Morgan. He is a lawmaker there in the Palmetto State. Representative Morgan, good to have you with us today. [00:40:25][17.9]
STATE REP. ADAM MORGAN (R-SC: [00:40:27] Hey Todd, thanks for having me on. [00:40:28][0.8]
STARNES: [00:40:28] So last night, you sent me a rather interesting message and it just coincidentally, I’d been having a similar conversation about some stories brewing in the Tennessee State House. Now, what’s interesting about South Carolina, we understand there is a conservative purge going on in in the state house. And I want you to explain to our listeners what’s happening there. [00:40:52][24.3]
MORGAN: [00:40:54] Yeah, well, I’m the chairman of our Freedom Caucus here in South Carolina. We have about 20 members. We started last year. We’ve been very busy. We shut down a pediatric transgender clinic by, you know, pushing FOIAs on them. We sued some school districts that were found to be teaching CRT, which violated state provisos. And anyway, We’ve been doing a lot of things that, you know, to really help the conservative fight. And we get to session this year and we are given these new rules that have now been made public by the Republican caucus that we have to sign an agreement, a pledge, whatever you want to call it, to not campaign against any sitting members, campaign activities of any kind and any other members of the Republican caucus. And we were kind of, you know, shell shocked by this, like what is campaign? And the definition was not defined. It was interpreted to mean very overly broad things. And, you know, as conservatives, I mean, you have to you have to inform the public of how people are voting, even when they’re in your own party, especially in a state like South Carolina, when, you know, we have a supermajority. Most of the people in the House are of our own party. So if we’re going to sign a pledge to not criticize or call out people for their vote and for what they’re pushing, you know, in caucus, we just, you know, couldn’t do that. And I had members that said, I’m not going to pledge that. I don’t even know what I’m pledging to. It’s undefined, and in good conscience, I can’t. So we told them that and they just ignored us and pushed it through. And, you know, we were trying, there’s a confidentiality rules that we tried not to talk about it and not say anything. But then last week, one of the leadership alerted the media that we were all ousted from caucus until we signed the pledge, the loyalty pledge. [00:42:45][111.2]
STARNES: [00:42:47] So what does that mean? Hold on. Let me back let me back up here, Adam. This is shocking. So, are you guys no longer Republicans in their eyes? What does that mean? [00:42:55][8.8]
MORGAN: [00:42:56] Well, it’s just the Republican caucus in the legislature, in the House. We’ve been told and the media has been told that we are ousted from that caucus until we sign a pledge. And we’re, you know, our loyalty, our pledges to our constituents and to the Constitution. And sure, we’re a caucus with like minded individuals and to get, you know, legislative agendas passed. But we don’t pledge to not, you know, publicly call out or criticize other lawmakers. I was just thinking about the craziness of, you know, if the founding fathers had done this, something like this, where you can’t have an open public debate and even, you know, publicly criticize, even if it is warranted to say, hey, look, the people in this district, they need to know this guy isn’t, you know, following the Republican platform, this guy isn’t voting the way he’s saying when he’s running. I mean, to think that we would sign away our First Amendment right, you know, to engage in that is just ludicrous. And it’s really unprecedented. And you won’t find any other caucus that we’re aware of, Republican or Democrat, that has this kind of loyalty pledge. And so it’s really kind of a just a bizarre thing that we’re dealing with. [00:44:07][70.7]
STARNES: [00:44:08] It does make you wonder what’s going on within the Republican Party there in South Carolina. Do we have any idea who was ultimately responsible for this? Who reached out to you? [00:44:17][9.0]
MORGAN: [00:44:18] Well, it really just kind of came about, you know, from some of the members in caucus. They you know, there had been within caucus, you know, you want to try to keep strategies confidential so you don’t tell the other side what’s happening. In the past, there were some leaks from caucus. I think the original impetus was, oh, we want to make sure people don’t leak. And then it got turned into, Oh, and we want people not to campaign. The language was campaign, engage in campaign activities in any form, as broad as possible, whatever that may mean. And, you know, for me, you know, you always think it can’t happen here. You know, I’m in a ruby red state, you know, lots of people, real strong conservatives or at least claimed to be. And so I just I would have never expected something like this to happen in my state and to think that, you know, 20 legislators could be targeted, all the conservatives. I mean, down the line, you look at the people that have been targeted, it’s the ones who are fighting for, say, women’s sports, for constitutional carry, for tax reform, for judicial reform. I mean, everything you can think of, and they’re all the ones that are now out of the caucus. We don’t have a voice now in you know, Republican caucus strategies and, you know, we’ve just been, you know, thrown out. And, you know, it’s so frustrating. But, you know, people across the country need to know that this could happen in your state. And you’ve got to know what’s going on in your legislatures. You got to know who the conservatives are. You got to back them up. I mean, the only way this gets fixed is if, you know, some of the guys that are still in there, the representatives stand up and say, you know what, no way I’m going to let them kick out all of my conservative fighters and my conservative brethren, like they’ve got to force, you know, the rule change. And people just need to be aware and know that this really is a battle for the soul of the Republican Party. Like, are we going to follow our platform? Are we going to fight for our conservative values? Or is this an incumbent protection racket where we want to hide what, you know, ultimately is going on even with votes and where, you know, we want to hide that from the public view? [00:46:30][131.8]
STARNES: [00:46:31] Well, clearly they do. And I think this is something that we we saw happen up on Capitol Hill during the debate over Kevin McCarthy and whether or not he should be the speaker, where they were really strong arming members of the House Freedom Caucus. But they stood their ground and refused to capitulate until they got what they wanted out of all of this. And it’s just, it’s shocking to know something like this is happening in a state like South Carolina, Adam. [00:46:57][26.2]
MORGAN: [00:46:58] Well, it may be related. I mean, I’ve really been, you know, throwing this around in my mind, like, why now? Why is this happening now? And I think a lot of people, maybe more establishment types were looking at that and thinking, oh, we need to, you know, make sure we clamp down on our conservatives and try to get them, you know, get them under control. And I don’t know, it may be a coordinated effort. I know here that it seems like there’s an appetite to try to resolve it, but maybe not. I mean, as with like I said, as of right now, we’ve now been alerted and the media’s been alerted that we’re ousted from from Republican caucus. [00:47:35][37.2]
STARNES: [00:47:36] I know that Senator Jim DeMint is a big friend and he wrote a letter to the editor for The State, which is the newspaper there in the state capitol, said instead of passing draconian rules to muzzle conservative members, why doesn’t the House GOP caucus support the reform minded conservative fighters who are standing on principle and opposition to this loyalty pledge? Good question. [00:47:59][23.4]
MORGAN: [00:48:00] Yeah, and he’s been a huge supporter of ours, and I think that’s exactly right. The members who were targeted with this, they’re all the biggest conservative voices, the biggest fighters in the legislature. So it is quite shocking. And I think it is is related to what happened in Washington. You know, our group, we have the same name, we’re the South Carolina Freedom Caucus. We’re somewhat allied with the the national group obviously we’re very allied philosophically. And yeah, I think people, establishment types, are probably wanting to marginalize and alienate and even get us out of the room so that they can, you know, run the party the way that they want to. But we are literally just pushing the Republican Party platform issues. That is what we fight for. So if anybody gets the moniker of Republican, it’s us. It’s not the ones who don’t want to follow that platform. [00:48:57][56.5]
STARNES: [00:48:58] Well, here in Tennessee, for example, we have a supermajority and there are Republicans that are trying to weaken the state’s pro-life law. We are seeing some conservative lawmakers being marginalized on Capitol Hill in Nashville. And we’re also hearing similar stories involving the Mississippi Freedom Caucus. You know, in Tennessee, they are just now getting a Freedom Caucus underway. But it’s troubling that, again, you would have establishment Republicans on the state level trying to weaken things like a pro-life law. [00:49:32][34.2]
MORGAN: [00:49:33] Yeah, well, that’s very troubling. And I mean, it’s understandable and that you’re going to get people from different districts who have different viewpoints. And we are a big tent party. But as I said, we also have a platform that we all recognize and should be working toward. And I think the most shocking part is that those members who maybe aren’t really holding to the true Republican Party platform issues, but they’re, you know, sometimes with us, the shocking thing is that they would weaponize rules in order to kick out the ones who are actually following the platform to a tee. And why did they want them out? Why do they want us to stop, you know, speaking out and informing the voters about how everyone’s voting? I think the answer is obvious because they’re interested in hiding how they’re voting to the public because they’re worried about coming back, which is why you would need an incumbent protection pledge. [00:50:27][53.6]
STARNES: [00:50:28] Fascinating. Well, Adam, we’re going to leave it there. Keep us updated on this. What a terrible thing that’s happened. But we appreciate you guys fighting the good fight and standing your ground there in the South Carolina Freedom Caucus. State Representative Adam Morgan on the Patriot Mobile Newsmaker Line. Thank you, sir. [00:50:46][18.1]
MORGAN: [00:50:47] Thanks for having me. [00:50:47][0.4]