A Texas Republican congressional candidate who lost a U.S. House runoff earlier this week after campaigning as a “Never Trumper” and getting only 3% of the vote, is now condemning the party’s current focus ― or lack thereof.
Michael Wood ran in Texas’s 6th Congressional District for the seat previously occupied by Republican Rep. Ron Wright with a campaign critical of Donald Trump, even though he voted for the now former president.
“I think that we are just a party of grievance right now,” Wood said. “I don’t know what we stand for. We stand for owning the libs. We don’t like baseball. We don’t like Coke. We don’t like NASCAR. We don’t like Hollywood. We don’t like academia. We don’t like anything. We’re just a grievance party that hates a good hunk of America and then we call ourselves patriots, and this is just a dead end.”
Although some Republicans might find “lib owning” to be a bizarre form of self-care, Wood warned that’s not a longterm political philosophy.
“We’re not going to win elections that way, and we’re not going to sort of put into place the sort of conservative reforms we want that way, and then at the fringes there’s a real risk of political violence, which keeps me up at night,” he said. “We saw that on Jan. 6, and I hate to say it, but it can get worse than that. And we have a lot of work ahead of us.”
Wood isn’t sure how the party can come back from its current state.
“I do think that those of us who think like I do, and I guess people like Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, I do think that there’s going to have to be some serious organizing, creating factions not just within Congress but also throughout the country, to sort of make it so that it’s not just sort of the nut jobs in the primaries that are the only paying point for politicians,” he said, though he noted that he’s not sure if the GOP can be salvaged.
“You know, I don’t want us to have to lose for a decade before we sort of get that message,” he said, referencing the 12 years the Democrats were out of the White House before Bill Clinton’s election in 1992.
You can see the complete exchange below.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.