One month into his term leading the conservative House Freedom Caucus, Bob Good is facing a new wave of intra-party attacks — from the Trump campaign to allies of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy to, now, a military-focused PAC led by fellow Republicans.
Good is facing a challenge in June’s Virginia GOP primary from State Sen. John McGuire, a former Navy SEAL who last week got endorsed by the board of the SEAL PAC, which aims to elect conservative military veterans to Congress. While Good has endorsed the flagging presidential campaign of Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.), McGuire is a longtime backer of former President Donald Trump’s 2024 bid.
The SEAL PAC, notably, has its own ties to Trump. It’s led by Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.), a former Navy SEAL and Trump Cabinet member. Zinke said in an interview that unlike the “reckless” Good, who’s used his Hill perch to suggest cutting off government funding in a bid to squeeze Democrats into bigger cuts, McGuire understands how damaging a shutdown would be to the country’s military.
“[Good] endorsed Ron DeSantis and continues to be an anti-Trump policy candidate,” Zinke, who served as Trump’s Interior secretary, told POLITICO. “SEAL PAC is proud … to announce it is endorsing McGuire for that seat.”
SEAL PAC is the latest member of a growing list of enemies Good has acquired within his own party. POLITICO first reported on the growing animosity toward Good, including McGuire’s challenge, and McCarthy’s refusal to rule out spending money against the Virginian after Good joined seven other Republicans in voting to oust the former speaker last fall.
“A tremendous amount of House Republicans are tired of Freedom Caucus members who threaten to primary and vacate [the speakership]. There are many more of us than there are of them, and we want to get on with the country’s business,” said one House Republican who is trying to help unseat Good, granted anonymity to speak candidly about the intra-party battle.
This week, Trump’s campaign manager Chris LaCivita also signaled to a local Virginia news outlet that his operation intended to go after Good.
“Bob Good won’t be electable when we get done with him,” Chris LaCivita told Cardinal News.
Good has defended his DeSantis endorsement as not motivated by opposition to Trump, but by his desire for a candidate who could serve two terms in the White House. He has reinforced his Trump support this week, touting the former president’s Iowa caucus victory by calling Trump the “best president in my lifetime.”
“I think people in the Fifth District of Virginia like what I’m doing. I’ve kept my word. I’ve been the kind of consistent conservative that they elected me to be and I expect they’ll get it right,” he added.
That did little to stop the intra-GOP attacks.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), a Trump and McCarthy ally, slammed Good on Wednesday. Greene claimed that the once Trump-aligned Freedom Caucus, which evicted her from its ranks last year, has misled donors because its leadership is “filled with Never Trumpers led by their new chairman angry disloyal MAGA traitor Bob Good.”
Greene, who was booted from the group in part because of her penchant for publicly criticizing its members, added on X, formerly known as Twitter, that “President Trump is going to win in 24, and he needs loyal America First warriors NOT Congressmen on a power trip who will stab him in the back.”
Despite the outside blowback, Good still commands widespread support in the Freedom Caucus.
“Seriously, she is a distraction,” Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) said of Greene. “And I do not think about anything she says.”
Boebert added that while she is a Trump supporter, conservatives should be free to endorse any presidential candidate: “It doesn’t affect our policies, our positions, and HFC is going to continue to lead the conference in a more conservative direction.”
Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.), who has endorsed Nikki Haley in the primary, argued that Good could even leverage the outside barbs for his re-election campaign.
“He’s gonna win that race,” Norman said. “Bob is smart enough to do that. Use that as a plus.”
Anthony Adragna contributed.