A black rhino in the Etosha National Park in Namibia, 2014/04/12 Photo by: Barbara Scheer/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

He's a RINO. She's a RINO. They are all RINOs.

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Calling Republicans RINOs — Republican-In-Name-Only — is nothing new.

We were doing it in 1881, and it was still not a new insult back then.

We were doing it in 1962.

As long as people have hated politicians and politicians have hated their primary opponents, there have been RINOs.

However, the practice has become a tad obsessive in recent years, as the definition of RINO has expanded to include many more offenses, and has a tendency to change rapidly as political fortunes and allegiances are altered. A RINO is no longer a person who does not vote for policies supported by the Republican Party platform. A RINO can simply be a person who has been in D.C. for decades. A RINO can be a person who was endorsed by a RINO. If a RINO donated to your campaign, you are definitely a RINO. If you are a Republican who lives in a blue state, you might be a RINO. Your uncle who always talks about taxes at Thanksgiving dinner and voted for Reagan but loves "Modern Family"is probably a RINO. This week, if you voted for House Speaker John Boehner in the leadership election, you are a RINO.

President Obama is basically a RINO, as were President Reagan and Harrison Ford in "Air Force One."

We searched the Web to see how many House Republicans in the 114th Congress have been called RINOs on the Internet. It would have been easy to declare that all House Republicans are RINOs if we included comment sections, Web sites that just publish long lists of Republicans they consider fakes and several Twitter accounts that function only to tweet "RINO!" at elected officials. We did not fall down that dark rabbit hole, but it was still insanely easy to find instances of nearly every elected official being called a RINO.

We found that only 73 Republicans out of the 246 currently in the House had not been called by a RINO -- as far as we could tell.

By this logic, 173 House Republicans are not actually Republicans.

It's time to retire this word. Come up with a new one if you'd like, but in a world where Trey Gowdy, Joe Wilson and Steve DesJarlais can all be called RINOs, you're doing it wrong.

Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.)

Martha Roby (R-Ala.)

The Montogomery Advertiser, March 2014: “It depends on who you talk to. One day I may be a tea-party darling and the next day I’m a RINO (Republican in Name Only),” Roby said.

Mike Rogers (R-Ala.)

Newsmax Magazine, August 2014: "Commentator Michael Reagan labeled Rogers’ new show 'RINO radio.' Conservative media watchdog L. Brent Bozell III charged that Rogers thinks conservative radio listeners are 'knuckle-draggers unable to think for themselves, unable to be smart.'”

Robert Aderlholt (R-Ala.)

Mo Brooks (R-Ala.)


Don Young (R-Alaska)

Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.)

Club for Growth, July 2012: "Fiscal conservatives in Arizona should support free-market leader and champion of the Constitution Ron Gould in the Republican Primary instead of R.I.N.O Paul Gosar."

Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.)

LiberalBias.com, October 21, 2013: PROOF MATT SALMON IS A LIBERAL: Sonoran Alliance caught Matt Salmon giving money to liberal democrats while he was a lobbyist, including fellow Arizona representative Ed Pastor, who safely wins 80% of the vote in his heavily liberal district and doesn’t even need campaign contributions.

David Schweikert (R-Ariz.)

W. John Williamson, Schweikert's Democratic opponent: "No, I believe that David Schweikert is a RINO–a Republican In Name Only."

Rick Crawford (R-Ark.)

Arkansas Times, February 2013: "The Club for Growth today launched a website urging for primary challengers to nine Republican members of Congress it brands RINOs (Republicans in Name Only) who're in safe Republican seats, including Rep. Rick Crawford."

Steve Womack (R-Ark.)

Arkansas Times, April 2010: "Dick Morris spoke at Tea Party events across the state today and sets his sites not only on Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln and her primary challenger Bill Halter but a Republican Steve Womack who he said he considers a “RINO” (Republican in Name Only.)"

Paul Cook (R-Calif.)

Jeff Denham (R-Calif.)

Madison Project, May 2014: "Next week, the House will take up the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Conservatives already fought to keep Rino Rep. Jeff Denham’s (R-CA) military amnesty bill out of the underlying legislation in committee."

David Valadao (R-Calif.)

Devin Nunes (R-Calif.)

Weasel Zippers, September 2013: "RINO Rep. Devin Nunes Calls GOP Colleagues 'Lemmings With Suicide Vests'…"

Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.)


Ed Royce (R-Calif.)


Ken Calvert (R-Calif.)

Political Pistachio, October 2013: "Hidden RINOs (Like Ken Calvert)"

Mimi Walters (R-Calif.)

Roll Call, October 2013: "Republican state Sen. Mimi Walters has a 94 percent lifetime rating with California’s anti-tax group, but that might not be enough for her to avoid a anti-tax primary challenger as she runs for Congress."

Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.)

Darrell Issa (R-Calif.)

New Hampshire Tea Party Coalition, February 2014: "We are not in DC arguing about compromise. Let the McCains, Grahams and Ayottes of the party continue on that failed path. And above all consider NOT sending money to faux tea parties in DC and clueless RINOs like ISSA to underwrite their ‘moral highground’ of compromise."

Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.)


Mike Coffman (R-Colo.)


Jeff Miller (R-Fla.)

RedState, March 2011: "The Right Honorable Jeff Miller joins the RINOs. I expect him to put out an Email explaining WHY he voted “Aye”. I want a logical, specific and detailed letter as to his reasons for and the logic behind his vote."

Ted Yoho (R-Fla.)

Washington Post, April 2014: "The fanged contender believes Yoho — a tea party conservative — is a liberal who has “embarrassed” his constituents."

Ander Crenshaw (R-Fla.)

Gainesville Tea Party, July 2014: "Please support Ryman Shoaf running against incumbent RINO Ander Crenshaw in FL US House District 4. This is another chance to throw a long time establishment RINO out."

John Mica (R-Fla.)

Daniel Webster (R-Fla.)


Rich Nugent (R-Fla.)

Dennis Ross (R-Fla.)

Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.)

Tom Rooney (R-Fla.)

Curt Clawson (R-Fla.)

Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.)

Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.)

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.)

Tom Price (R-Ga.)

Rob Woodall (R-Ga.)

Austin Scott (R-Ga.)

Doug Collins (R-Ga.)

Raul Labrador (R-Idaho)

Mike Simpson (R-Idaho)

The Washington Times, December 2013:

The Club for Growth endorsed Mr. Smith in July, saying “we’re confident that he’ll be a strong conservative alternative to RINO incumbent Mike Simpson.”
“Career politician Mike Simpson is one of the biggest liberals in the Republican Party today,” Mr. Chocola said at the time.

Peter Roskam (R-Ill.)

Robert Dold (R-Ill.)

Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.)

Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.)

Aaron Schock (R-Ill.)

The New York Times:

Mr. Schock and 10 other lawmakers considered suspiciously squishy by the Club for Growth were designated as RINO’s (Republicans in name only), and the club has vowed to find primary opponents and support them with cash — a formidable threat considering that it spent $18 million backing conservative candidates in the 2012 cycle. Americans for Prosperity, a Koch brothers group that has already spent millions on ads fighting health reform, is beginning a new campaign to delay the law’s effects.

Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.)

The Elkhart Truth, December 2013:

Amid it all, Bancroft hinted at rumblings among some that Walorski has strayed from her conservative, GOP roots. He suggested she’s becoming what some conservatives derisively call a RINO — a Republican in name only.
“I just don’t understand how she’s become this,” Bancroft said.

Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.)

Susan Brooks (R-Ind.)

Larry Bucshon (R-Ind.)

Todd Young (R-Ind.)

David Young (R-Ia.)

Steve King (R-Ia.)

Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.)

Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.)

Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.)

Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.)

Hal Rogers (R-Ky.)

Andy Barr (R-Ky.)

Steve Scalise (R-La.)

Charles Boustany (R-La.)

American Liberty PAC:

If RINO ever makes its way into the dictionary, there are a good many well-known politicians whose names could and would appear as examples. However, Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA) has thrown his name into the hat, as well."

Justin Amash (R-Mich.)

Fred Upton (R-Mich.)

John Kline (R-Minn.)

Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.)

Alan Nunnelee (R-Miss.)

Gregg Harper (R-Miss.)

Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.)

Ann Wagner (R-Mo.)

Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.)

Billy Long (R-Mo.)

Ryan Zinke (R-Mt.)

Former U.S. Rep. Rick Hill:

"Ryan is trying to characterize himself as a staunch conservative and that's just not his record," Hill told The Associated Press. "If Montanans want to nominate a quite moderate Republican, I'm OK with that. I just want to make sure they know what they're doing."

Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.)

Joe Heck (R-Nev.)

National Journal:

"I vote a certain way and the Left calls me a tea-party extremist," he says. "I vote another way and the Right calls me a RINO (Republican in name only). I'll leave the labels to the political pundits."

Frank Guinta (R-N.H.)

Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.)

Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.)

Chris Smith (R-N.J.)

Made Human Events' "Top Ten House RINOs" list in 2009.

Leonard Lance (R-N.J.)

Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.)

Steve Pearce (R-N.M.)

Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.)

Peter King (R-N.Y.)

Chris Gibson (R-N.Y.)

Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.)

Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.)

Thomas Reed (R-N.Y.)

John Katko (R-N.Y.)

Chris Collins (R-N.Y.)

The Dunkirk-Fredonia Observer:

Following his decision to cut and run, as far as I can tell, Reed said nothing when fellow RINOs Chris Collins (R-NY) and Peter King (R-NY) dumped all over Tea Party Republicans. 

Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.)

Walter Jones Jr. (R-N.C.)

Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.)

David Rouzer (R-N.C.)

Richard Hudson (R-N.C.)

Robert Pittenger (R-N.C.)

Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.)

Mark Meadows (R-N.C.)

Steve Chabot (R-Ohio)

Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio)

Jim Jordan (R-Ohio)

Bob Latta (R-Ohio)

John Boehner (R-Ohio)

Mike Turner (R-Ohio)

Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio)

David Joyce (R-Ohio)

Steve Stivers (R-Ohio)

Jim Renacci (R-Ohio)

Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.)

Frank Lucas (R-Okla.)

Tom Cole (R-Okla.)


There is only one liberal left in your district (OK-4- PVI=R+18), and he happens to be your representative in Congress.  His name is Tom Cole.  Maybe you should elect someone next year who will represent the heartland and challenge the status quo instead of serving as a conduit for the left to attack conservatives.

Greg Walden (R-Ore.)


The group has added the veteran Oregon congressman’s name to their website “Primary My Congressman,” and labeled him a “RINO,” or Republican In Name Only.

Mike Kelly (R-Pa.)

Scott Perry (R-Pa.)

Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.)

Pat Meehan (R-Pa.)

Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.)

Bill Shuster (R-Pa.)

Lou Barletta (R-Pa.)

The Dave Levine Show:

Congressman Barletta has been quiet lately. As a matter of fact, he’s made some really bad/RINO votes since he became a Congressman. He’s voted FOR the unconstitutional NDAA as well as The Patriot Act.

Keith Rothfus (R-Pa.)

Charles Dent (R-Pa.)

Penn Live:

On the most-conservative list, Barletta is two spots behind Charlie Dent, who has been blasted as a RINO (Republican in Name Only) for casting grown-up votes on issues like not defaulting on the nation's debts.

Joseph R. Pitts (R-Pa.)

Timothy F. Murphy (R-Pa.)

The Tribune-Review:

Showing his true-blue tax-and-spend colors, Rep. Tim Murphy of Upper St. Clair, a Republican in Name Only (RINO), voted to approve only 23 of them — yet that pathetic performance still put him at the top of the regional scorecard.

Mark Sanford (R-S.C.)

Joe Wilson (R-S.C.)

Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.)

Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.)

Mark Levin: "Very effective, but sadly turns out he’s a RINO. Yes he is. Mr. Gowdy, yes you are.”

Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.)

Kristi Noem (R-S.D.)

Chuck Fleischmann (R-Tenn.)

Scott DesJarlais  (R-Tenn.)

Diane Black (R-Tenn.)

Marsha Blackburn  (R-Tenn.)

Stephen Fincher  (R-Tenn.)

Jeb Hensarling (R-Tex.)

Joe Barton (R-Tex.)

John Culberson (R-Tex.)

Kevin Brady (R-Tex.)

Michael McCaul (R-Tex.)

Mike Conaway (R-Tex.)

Kay Granger (R-Tex.)

Mac Thornberry (R-Tex.)

Randy Weber (R-Tex.)

Bill Flores (R-Tex.)

Randy Neugebauer (R-Tex.)

Lamar S. Smith (R-Tex.)

Pete Olson (R-Tex.)

Kenny Marchant (R-Tex.)

Roger Williams (R-Tex.)

Michael C. Burgess (R-Tex.)

Blake Farenthold (R-Tex.)

John Carter (R-Tex.)

Pete Sessions (R-Tex.)

Rolling Stone, October 2013:

But SCF labels him a "Texas RINO" – Republican in Name Only – adding, "We can't sit back and let wishy-washy Republicans like Pete Sessions destroy our freedoms."

Chris Stewart (R-Utah)

Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah)

Mia Love (R-Utah)

Rob Wittman (R-Va.)

Scott Rigell (R-Va.)

Randy Forbes (R-Va.)

Robert Hurt (R-Va.)

Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.)

Morgan Griffith (R-Va.)

Barbara Comstock (R-Va.)

Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.)

Clark Country Politics Blog:

"She's been a full-blown RINO, as worthless in Congress as you were in Olympia."

Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.)

The Spokesman-Review:

It accuses Newhouse of being aligned with the “Seattle and Bellevue political elites.” That’s not surprising in a race where Didier supporters accuse Newhouse of being a RINO, or Republican In Name Only, and Newhouse supporters accuse Didier of being an extremist.

Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.)

Dave Reichert (R-Wash.)

David McKinley (R-W.Va.)

Paul Ryan (R-Wis.)

Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.)

Sean Duffy (R-Wis.)

Reid Ribble (R-Wis.)

This post has been updated to clarify that the term "RINO" is older than the first instance we provided.