Ken Buck leaving Republican party over 2020 election 'lies'

 November 2, 2023

House Republican Ken Buck is leaving Congress, saying he was forced out by President Trump's 2020 election "lies." 

The five-term Congressman from Colorado has been drifting from his party for some time, showing discomfort with Republican messaging on the 2020 election, January 6th, and the impeachment of Joe Biden.

"I’ve decided that it is time for me to do some other things," Buck told NBC's Andrea Mitchell on Wednesday.

Ken Buck resigning

Democrats - who spent years falsely claiming Trump colluded with Russia in 2016 - labeled Trump's stolen election story "the big lie" and coined the petulant term "election denier" to disparage those who believe Trump's grievances have merit.

Buck - who voted to certify the 2020 election - said he can't stay in a party that refuses to recognize Biden as the legitimate winner.

Similarly, Buck said he was concerned that some in his party treat January 6th defendants like martyrs or victims of political persecution.

"I always have been disappointed with our inability in Congress to deal with major issues and I’m also disappointed that the Republican Party continues to, you know, rely on this lie that the 2020 election was stolen and rely on the January 6th narrative and the political prisoners from January 6th and other things."

Recently, Buck has been outspoken in his belief that the Republican investigation of Joe Biden is a wild goose chase with no real basis.

Trump reacts

Despite his criticism of Trump, Buck joined a minority of Trump-aligned Republicans who dumped former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (Ca.) last month.

The 64-year-old Buck, who was elected in 2014, cited McCarthy's failure to control federal spending.

Buck's district is reliably Republican, so his resignation is not likely to affect the balance of power. He has said he would consider a job at CNN - a move made by anti-Trump Republicans like Adam Kinzinger in the past.

The news of Buck's retirement was hailed by Trump, who labeled Buck a "super RINO."

"He knew long ago he could never win against MAGA, so now he is, like some past and present, auditioning for a job at Fake News CNN, MSDNC, or some other Country-destroying Leftwing Outlet. They can have him, and watch their Ratings go down still further, if that’s even possible!" Trump said on Truth Social.

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