Talk:Republican In Name Only

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I just added a cleanup tag. The article looks like it's been cut and pasted and re-edited over time so that there is a lot of repetition, incorrect wikification, etc. I think I needs a good going over, which I'll try to get to, but if someone else can get to it, great. Alcarillo 18:40, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

See below for npov rationale. Antonrojo 19:04, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

Bill Frist[edit]

Is there any citation for someone (other than, apparently, one anonymous Wikipedia contributor) calling Bill Frist a "RINO"? Amazing, if true: that an almost perfect party-line person could be called this for a single dissent from a Bush position. Have the Republicans started the circular firing squad yet? -- Jmabel | Talk 02:02, August 14, 2005 (UTC)

Wow, Bill Frist a RINO -- boggles the mind. The Republican Senate leader a Republican In Name Only? If that's allowed to stand, then we should also put Orrin Hatch and all the other Republicans who support stem cell research as RINOs as well. And from what I've heard, that's a lot -- even if they support the party on all its other positions. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 30 Aug 2005
I'm going to remove Frist. There's no good citation, and the inclusion seems to be based on one single failure to be in lockstep. -- Jmabel | Talk 16:54, August 31, 2005 (UTC)

Change the Intro Wording[edit]

RINO stands for Republican In Name Only, a disparaging term for a member of the United States Republican Party whose words and actions are thought to be too fiscally or socially moderate or liberal.

I second that. The intro is way off. "RINO" is almost exclusively used to bash liberal Republicans like Randall "Pro-life" Terry" is bashing Jim "The Suicide" King over the FL, 8th District ( Gopchristian

Isn't "RINO" also used to describe Republicans who are too fiscally conservative these days, like Sen. McCain, given the Party's meandering into fiscal irresponsibility? — ceejayoz 20:26, 25 September 2005 (UTC)

No Ceejayoz, fiscal conservativism is Republican and John McCain is a RINO [], regardless of what McCain was in the past, nowadays he only cosponsors bills with Ted Kennedy. Gopchristian

Should the intro include a helper phrase for people who misspel such as This article is about a political acronym for other uses see Rhino --User:greataff 01:14, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

I think this suggesting this term is used disparagingly is the wrong introduction for this article. First person anecdotally experience supplies multiple, unconnected lifelong Republicans who unabashedly refer to themselves as RINOs. They believe strongly in earlier understandings of conservativism than the modern Republican Party, yet see no reasonable alternative. (talk) 08:20, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

The intro should state that the term is used mostly by Libertarian leaning republicans like Ron and Rand Paul and their supporters. The assertion that it's used mostly to describe liberal republicans is completely false. It's mostly used by those who themselves are not republicans but Libertarians, in other words by the real RINOs. Hallertaur (talk) 14:45, 11 May 2013 (UTC)


Cut from discussion of etymology: "or possibly the term 'wino,' a dated (but still well-known) term for alcoholics." There is no citation for this, and I don't believe it. If it were true, "RINO hunter" would be in particularly poor taste. If someone actually has citation, fine, attribute it, but without that it doesn't belong in the article. -- Jmabel | Talk 22:58, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

Silly extrapolation[edit]

"Note that in the 1950s conservatives like Barry Goldwater were considered RINO's because they dissented from the mainstream at the time."

1) The term didn't exist at the time. 2) As far as I remember, no one ever suggested at the time that Goldwater was only nominally a Republican. There were certainly those who felt that the party would be better off without him, but (in particular) there was no suggestion that there was some other party to whom he was closer.

I am removing this, unless someone has a citation to back it up. -- Jmabel | Talk 06:33, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

Better read Perlstein. The term RINO is recent but the concept is much older. The issue in early 1950s was should conservative Republicans quit the GOP because they were so marginalized & form new party. In Dem party there was a big fuss along same lines in 1908. Rjensen 19:01, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

Certainly the conservatives considered forming their own party (as did the left portion of the Democrats in the Vietnam War era). But in both cases, the respective parties were trying to keep them in, not drive them out. - Jmabel | Talk 19:00, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

Is it true that conservative Republicans are trying to keep the RINOs todau (or that the liberal GOP tried to keep Goldwater's people?) I doubt that very much. One of the reasons to ridicule a faction is so it will leave. Rjensen 19:59, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
Of course, what the conservative Republicans today would like is to lose the RINOs from public office but somehow keep the votes of their supporters. (Not very likely. New York City, for example, has now had two rather centrist Republican mayors in a row; it's pretty hard to believe that that means that a mainline Republican could win that office.) If my memory serves me, I don't remember many Republicans being unhappy about Goldwater being the Republican senator from Arizona, though some were pretty distraught over his being the party's presidential candidate. But today's "RINO hunters" want the likes of Olympia Snowe and Chuck Hagel out of the Senate, which is a different phenomenon. - Jmabel | Talk 05:44, 18 March 2006 (UTC)
I agree that the Barry Goldwater comment has no relevance to the article. RINO is a recent charge against liberal Republican... not "out of the mainstream." The article is poorly written and conveys a POV that those who call people RINOs are stupid. Barney Gumble 18:29, 28 July 2006 (UTC)


Lots in the media compare Reagan's policies to todays 'tea party' and see him as more on the centre or left (Eisenhower too with the very high taxes) Bill Maher and Reagan's own son have called him a RINO — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:19, 31 January 2016 (UTC)

What's a RINO?[edit]

I don't mind the article being here. I don't even mind the National Journal chart of Party support. It's a good unbiased review. But I think I mind having the list of Republicans because the criteria for a RINO is so subjective. No one has the same definition. That makes the list meaningless. Any Republican could be a RINO at any time.

1) John McCain is a RINO? According to the same National Journal study, McCain in 2001 and 2002 had presidential support of 90% and 91%. Is he a RINO because he pushed campaign finance reform?

2) George Voinovich? Why? Because he opposed John Bolton? His party support is no lower than 78% and was usually from 87% to 92%.

3) Should Rick Santorum be on the list? After all he endorsed and campaigned for Arlen Specter over conservative Pat Toomey, has supported higher spending, and had Presidential support ratings of up to 61% (1997) during President Clinton's administration.

The RINO accusation is just a pejorative term for any Republican who doesn't vote the way you want. And its inconsistently applied. The list is not consistent with what would be in an encyclopedia and needs to go.Montco 02:11, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

I strongly disagreement. It is encyclopedic to list people who have been accused of being RINOs and why they have been accused. While the article could be better sourced, it is not subjective and is encyclopedic. JoshuaZ 01:41, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
Its not subjective? Club for Growth calls anyone who doesn't vote for tax and spending cuts a RINO. The Pro-Life folks call anyone who is pro-choice a RINO. So if you vote against tax cuts, but are strongly Pro-Life, whats that make you? If you are the most fiscally conservative person in Congress but support abortion rights, what's that make you? How many more ways can you describe a RINO? Well in PA, Republicans who voted for the 2005 pay rise are called RINOs, thregardless of their voting record. There are infinite definitions of RINO-ism.
If the Republicans for Choice called pro-life Republicans RINOs, do they make the list? If the Republican Main Street Partnership came up with a list of RINOs who don't support stem cell research, should we add them to the list? After all, they were 'accused' of being RINO's by a Republican organization.Montco 02:11, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
You make a good point. If you feel that strongly about it, nominate it for AfD. It might also be reasonable to just have an article, without a long list. JoshuaZ 02:53, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
I have no problem with the article. I just think the list needs to go. I would even go so far as to maintain the list of organizations, Club for Growth, Concerned Women for America who make such charges and what each group's criteria are for a RINO. I just wanted to get some input before I wholesale delete a ton of stuff. Montco 03:11, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
In that case, I suggest you wait a day or two and see if any other editors have any comments. It may also make sense to include a few examples of the more prominent cases of people who have been frequently accused. (for example Senator Chaffe). JoshuaZ 03:17, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
I could buy off on that to a degree. In the case of Specter and Chafee, they have both had pretty high-profile campaigns run against them. As long as the discussion is in the context of the campaigns to defeat them. But yeah I do plan on waiting a couple of days to see what opinions are out there.Montco 03:30, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
I have to agree that I have a problem with the way this article is progressing. The lead sentence of the article defines "RINO" as "a disparaging (emphasis mine) term for a member of the United States Republican Party whose positions are 'too far' from the party mainstream." There would seem to be no objective definition available, and no politician is going to ever call himself a RINO. To allow anyone to add a name of any Republican to this list seems to be arbitrary at best. It seems that we ought to set a fairly high bar on who qualifies for this list. A "source" from someone's blog just doesn't cut it as a justification. Let's be responsible and not resort to name calling. Alansohn 03:45, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
OK I have made the changes that at least I have advocated. I certainly would appreciate constructive edits to help it along. But I think this gives us a similar feel without the arbitrary or subjective nature of the list.
The accusation of RINO is by conservative Republicans claiming that some Republicans are too liberal... not too moderate. I've never heard anyone say, he's way too moderate. He MAY be considered moderate if polled nationwide, but that is not the accusation.

I agree that classification charge of RINO is somewhat subjective, but there is criteria. If you think of the big issues: tax, spending, illegals, gun rights, abortion, the war, and to a less extent things like affirmative action. he won't be considered a RINO if he disagrees from the party on one. No one is going to accuse Pat Buchanan of being a RINO because he doesn't support the Iraq War. However, when you get somone like Lincoln Chafee who is anti-war, pro-tax, pro-big government, pro-abortion, anti-gun...all positions of the majority of Democrats... he will get classified as a RINO

Please sign your posts! This anon user made an excellent point:

Its not subjective? Club for Growth calls anyone who doesn't vote for tax and spending cuts a RINO. The Pro-Life folks call anyone who is pro-choice a RINO. So if you vote against tax cuts, but are strongly Pro-Life, whats that make you? If you are the most fiscally conservative person in Congress but support abortion rights, what's that make you? How many more ways can you describe a RINO? Well in PA, Republicans who voted for the 2005 pay rise are called RINOs, thregardless of their voting record. There are infinite definitions of RINO-ism.

I edited the intro sentence because as it originally stood, it begged the question, what is "mainstream conservatism?". Depends on whom you ask. More importantly, "mainstream" changes over time as political philosophies go in and out of fashion. For instance, at one time segregation was conservative mainstream. So was smaller government. Also, as you go further into the article, the definition of RINO becomes more fluid, especially when looking at the different core constituencies in the GOP around the country, and I revised the intro to reflect that. Alcarillo 15:54, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

Merging to Neo-Mugwump[edit]

I would oppose. One, I have never heard it before. At the same time, its a different animal in that this is an entirely pejorative term. Is neo-mugwump used in the same context? It would seem odd if it was since RINO seems to be more common and more prevalent.

Also oppose, Neo-Mugwump is a much less common term and has a different meaning. JoshuaZ 22:27, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

I would also oppose merging the two. The point of the RINO page is to explain a specific name used to refer to a certain type of Republicans. Even if a Neo-Mugwump is used to describe the same type of people, it's a different term, and deserves a different page. They should, instead, just link to each other as "See Also" links (we don't want to deny that they are related). Brett 04:56, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

I suggested the merge, and support it primarily because I don't think "Neo-Mugwump" is a common enough term to merit an article. I think a couple sentences in the RINO article - e.g., "Some have referred to RINOs as "Neo-Mugwumps" - would adequately cover the topic. Neo-Mugwump could then be changed into a redirect to RINO. --Hyperbole 01:30, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

"neo-Mugwump" does not work. It's rarely used and it's wrong-headed. The 1884 Mugwumps were Republicans who campaigned for Democrat Cleveland because the GOP candidate (Blaine) had a record of corruption. To use neo-Mugwump implies some Republicans are campaigning for Kerry/Gore, which is rare. Rjensen 03:03, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
I certainly wouldn't merge to neo-Mugwump, but it might be reasonable to merge neo-Mugwump into this article. - Jmabel | Talk 04:19, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
Nay to merging in either direction. —Joseph/N328KF (Talk) 04:36, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
Merge Neo-Mugwump into RINO with perhaps a mention of the term. Give it a redirect, but Neo-mugwump is not a well-known or commonly used term, and IMO, doesn't need it's own page with a see-also. Umdunno 06:00, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
Neo-Mugwump? Is someone joking. That term is never used. One of the dishonest tactics on Wikipedia is to merge popular pages onto obscure pages so people can't find them. Like as some RINO staffer wants to draw attention away from his boss, he doesn't ask to deleted it, but he tries to get the page moved to someone obscure. Barney Gumble 18:48, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

Ratings of Congressmen Deceptive[edit]

The ratings grid on the page tends to be deceptive in that it looks at votes alone (after those votes are subjectively catagorized and weighted), and does not look at the whole Republican.

Defining whether or not a Republican is a RINO also should also include public statements, donations to ideological PACs, activity during GOP primaries, etc.

For example, if you look at the list you may think that Ron Paul is the 2nd biggest liberal republican in the House. Paul often votes against GOP-oriented stuff (i.e., naming things after Reagan) not because he is a liberal, but because he is a constitutionalist. Paul is actually one of the most Pro-Life, Pro-2nd Amendment, and Pro-Sovereignty members of the House. But a person who looks at the grid would never know this.

In addition, you could have a Congressman who has reasonable ratings (perhaps very fiscally conservative and somewhat socially moderate). But they work actively in Republican primaries for the most liberal candidates and/or start/control liberal republican advocacy PACs.

We should endeavor to find a method of listing Republicans that takes into consideration all of these factors. Perhaps even a pro-and-con column, something that would list reasons for being labeled RINO and reasons against being labeled a RINO.

Just my 2 cents. 14:16, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

The list = the most comprehensive and nonpartisan voting list that exist--the National Journal scores. It deals with major issues and is considered highly reliable. There is no better listing. Rjensen 16:35, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

Again we seem to have developed a less-than-well-cited list of Republicans who have been labeled as RINOs. - Jmabel | Talk 01:54, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

National Journal RINO rankings vs. Rolling Stone Guitarist rankings[edit]

It would seem there is an uneven application of Wikipedia policy here.

When Rolling Stone magazine comes out with a list of "100 greatest guitarists" or "500 greatest albums", attempts to publish those lists of subjective rankings on Wikipedia are immediately removed as copyright violations.

Yet when National Review publishes a list of "RINO rankings" (based on National Review's own proprietary ranking criteria), the list is published on Wikipedia in apparent violation of Wikipedia copyright policy.

I'd suggest removing the list in its entirety and placing a link to the magazine's rankings instead. If anyone has any reason why this should NOT be done, I'd be interested in hearing reasons as to why FinFangFoom 10:36, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

We are nor posting the NJ list. The NJ lists 435 Congressmen, we only use a subset of 25 or 6% of the total. That is within the Copyright Office Guidelines (allowing use of less than 10%). Rjensen 11:49, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
Offhand, I don't believe the copyright office has any firm line about percentage. I've seen many mutually conflicting claims to this effect, none of them well cited. Do you have a citation for yours?
In any event, the National Review being a political journal, I'm sure they would be glad to see their opinions echoed. It's a very different matter than a primarily commercial arts review. - Jmabel | Talk 07:13, 28 July 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, I now see that despite FinFangFoom's remark, this is apparently National Journal, not National Review. A very different matter: not primarily a partisan entity. Not sure how I feel on this... - Jmabel | Talk 07:17, 28 July 2006 (UTC)
I misspoke--the Copyright office does not have any length guidelines (but many COMMERCIAL publishers do--usually in the range of 200-1000 words do not require permission.) Note that Wiki is non-commercial and our fair usage is a right guaranteed to us by law. "Quantifying fair use is contrary to the statutory right of fair use, which authorizes the user to exercise his or her judgment in accordance with the provisions of section 107," For a very good survey of the law see [1] Rjensen 07:38, 28 July 2006 (UTC)
I'm sure we would not have legal difficulties, but we might violate our own policies. See Wikipedia:Fair use#Downstream use. - Jmabel | Talk 23:59, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

RINO Lists-Arbitrary?[edit]

The RINO list from Human Events (HE) magazine should stay in the article. Moreover, RINO lists from other publications, advocacy groups, etc. should be added to the section labeled "Lists of RINOs".

On 17 July 2006, Montco deleted the HE list saying "(rv. removing the arbitrary list was discussed in the talk page. If you want it back, there should be some disccussion)" (emphasis mine).

MontCo deleted just the HE RINO list, but left the National Journal (NJ) RINO list in the article.

I should point out that if we are to label the HE RINO list 'arbitrary' then we have to label the NJ RINO list 'arbitrary' as well. Both are subjective lists (see the citation links for both lists) and as such vunerable to arbitrary biases. The HE RINO list is from the editorial staff of HE magazine and the NJ RINO list is of U.S. House of Representatives Republicans based on roll call votes that have been subjectively weighted (read: arbitrarily weighted) and catagoryied (read: arbitrarily catagoryied).

(Subjectively more or less means somebody guessed. Read both the subjectivity and the objectivity articles to learn more.)

If we display any RINO lists, then to be fair we should display other RINO lists as well (at least from publications, advocacy groups, etc.).

P.S. The NJ RINO list is only of House Republicans in office in 2005 and quite clearly RINOs and RINOism do and does not stop at the south side of the United States Capitol. 10:54, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

  • If you want to delete the National Journal list, then I'll be happy to. Let me point out the difference between NJ and HE's lists. The NJ list is based on 111 or 75 votes in the course of a single term. The votes are classified as liberal or conservative. Weightings are applied to how strong of a test the vote is to prove that one is a liberal, conservative or what ever. That methodology is published.

HE does not publish a methodology. I suspect that the methodology is simply based on who the editors don't like at that particular time. I cannot imagine that it is purely voting record-based as the list is full of NPOV commentary such as:

"After visiting Houston, he criticized the city’s aesthetics, saying, “This is what happens when you don’t have zoning.” and

"As president of the moderate Republican Main Street Partnership and key player in the so-called Tuesday Group lunches, he is a ring-leader of RINOs."

I will delete both lists at this time. But I just thought that I would point out the difference between the two. Montco 23:53, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

Let's keep both lists. The NJ is widely accepted by scholars and politicians of all perspectives, and has never been criticized as biased. Their method is to ask reporters and staffers what are the 75-100 most important roll call votes. After that the statistical methods are straight forward. (Every member gets a %liberal and then each member is assigned a percentile.)

The Wiki article itself is about exclusion: who is considered outside the Republican realm. In that sense the HE list shows what one large group of conservatives (who are not necessarily Republicans!) wants to be outcast. HE of course assumes that its conservative positions are what the GOP ought to hold. I think the HE list reasonably represents a consensus in the right wing of the GOP. The alternative of course is to have no article at all--or an article that is afraid of mentioning a single name. It is not POV to say that "here are the people that conservatives reject". Of course Wiki did not make up the list--we are reporting the HE list. Rjensen 00:13, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

the list 'more rinos' includes some names in the previous two organizational lists. should those duplicated names be omitted from 'more rinos'? (Collins, Pataki, etc) 22:53, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

National Journal Versus the American Conservative Union[edit]

The National Journal also isn't that prominent. It's not the National Review. Perhaps better is the ACU ratings...the American Conservative Union. Ron Paul, who is NOT a RINO (IMHO) is rated 83/100 lifetime by the ACU...not very RINOish at all and is much higher that Lincoln Chafee's score of 37 (lifetime), Arlen Specter's 45, or Olympia Snowe's 50.Barney Gumble 18:59, 28 July 2006 (UTC)
National Journal is nonpartisan and nonideological and very highly respected by all political analysts left, right and center. ACU has not achived that stature for its rankings--they reflect the preferences of whoever is running the group, rather than Republicans or even conservatives generally. As for Ron Paul, he is certainly a RINO in my estimation--he may agree with ACU but he does not agree with any large faction inside the GOP in Congress (he's a libertarian I would say). Rjensen 18:37, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
He is a libertarian. Even ran for president in 1988 on their ticket. Except for abortion, he is pretty pro-life. Back to the point. TO be honest, I prefer CQ's ratings which measure party support and presidential support.
But the RINO is a term coined by conservatives against liberal Republicans. Thus the ACU, which is prominent in conservative circles, should be evaluated. RINO doesn't mean "voting with the party", it means voting as liberal. Barney Gumble 13:56, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
So by your definition every Republican who voted for that abortion of a pork-barrel transportation bill is a RINO? And those that are supporting the President's immigration bill? Are they all RINOs? Montco
I don't think voting "liberal" on ONE issue makes you a RINO. Brownback from Kansas is for the immigration bill but no one is calling him a RINO. Trent Lott is a huge pork barreller, but he isn't a RINO either. Compare that to Lincoln Chafee who didn't even vote for President Bush in 2004. I'm just saying what the term is. You might argue that the definition of fox news liberal is unfair, but that's not the point. It's the accusation that is being documented. Barney Gumble 03:41, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

What a RINO is[edit]

Some of you have no idea what a RINO is and we ought to have the discussion here to prevent editing wars. The term RINO is slang!! It is not a Republican out of the mainstream. It is not Barry Goldwater in 1962. You cannot take a slang term and then try to define it by it's literal meaning. It is a slang term given BY CONSERVATIVES for Republicans who vote heavily for liberal issues. It is a new term and cannot be retroactively applied! The term should not be convoluted to mean something it doesn't.

It's like arguing that the definition of a "four letter word" should be "any word with four letters. Thus words like 'wind' and 'type' are four letter words." Barney Gumble 14:16, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

"slang" --probably not but that is not the issue. RINO is a term often used and needs definition. The meaning is simple: out of the mainstream of the GOP. Rjensen 14:24, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
Yes, RINO needs definition but you are not giving the correct definition. It does not mean "out of the mainstream" in the colloquial sense any more than 'wind' is a four-letter word. It is 'out of the mainstream' in a sense, but only in the current view. It cannot be retroactively applied to Barry Goldwater. Barney Gumble 17:24, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
The "name only" part of RINO means the ciritc does not like a person's positions and thinks they are too far from the party as a whole, that is "the party mainstream". Exactly the same criticism (without the actual term RINO) was levelled at Barry Goldwater (and Ronald Reagan) circa 1952-64, as the Perlstein citation shows. A little historical perspective helps explain the present. RINO is not quite standard English, it is true, but that does not mean it is meaningless andwithout history Rjensen 18:16, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
Barry Goldwater and Reagan may have been criticized but the term RINO is only a modern term...from conservative Republicans demeaning liberal Republicans. Tom Tancredo is "out of the Republican mainstream" on illegal immigration, but he is NOT called a RINO. RINO's literal interpretation is different from its slang meaning. The definition of a four letter word doesn't say "any word with four letters." Barney Gumble 20:01, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
Let's get over the "slang" issue--it's not important. Fact is the GOP for over 90 years (since 1912) has been trying to draw boundaries to exclude some members. Biggest fight came in 1912, and it never went away. Dems are doing the same thing today in Connecticut/Lieverman race. Rjensen 20:39, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
But this is the definition of a term!! It's a modern term only applicable to the present condition. It has no retroactive application! Current wording though, is okay comprimise as it includes some wording disclaimers and present context. Barney Gumble 22:04, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
"Liberal" -- no that is not part of the term: there is a very different term: "Liberal Republican," The definition of RINO is people who call themselves Republican but do not vote the way most Republicans vote. Note the term is used by people who are not themselves GOP leaders --it's used by conservative leaders. In terms of Congress, none of the RINOs are among the 40% most liberal Congressmen--they are actually in the middle of the road. Take Olympia Snowe. (average her 2003-2004 votes), we have American Conserv Union = 47% Conservative; Ntl Taxpayer Union = 51%; Chamber of Commerce = 68%. Ntl Journal = from 46% to 51% conservative on social, economic and foreign policy votes. [Almanac Am Pol 2006 p 760]. ACU gives Snowe a lifetime rating of 50% conservative. Rjensen 23:52, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
RINOs are liberal Republicans. You said it yourself. It's a term used by conservative leaders. Against who?.... the liberals. In the eyes of a conservative, a Republican with a ACU rating of 47 is not middle of the road, it's horribly liberal. In addition to Snowe, Lincoln Chafee had a 2005 rating of 12, and has a lifetime 37 rating. Specter's lifetime is 45, and Collins is 55. These four are the four lowest rated Republicans in the eyes of the ACU. They are also the top four on the Human Events Top 10 RINOs. [2]. Wow, what a coincidence!!! Barney Gumble 12:38, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
I am completely with Barney Gumble here. Etymology is not definition. This word has been used only recently, and only to criticize people who are considered too liberal. You never hear it applied to David Duke, who is also a nominal Republican and presumably also repugnant to the values of many of the the people who use the term. - Jmabel | Talk 00:07, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
But people keep adding back "out of the mainstream". Can you give an example of even one use from a generally citable source that uses it for someone who is perceived as being too far right rather than too far left? - Jmabel | Talk 18:48, 16 August 2006 (UTC)
people keep adding incorrect words like 'liberal' or 'Democrat'. The lists of Rinos do nopt list ANY liberals or pseudo-Democrats-- Olympia Snowe for example--they are close to 50-50 not close to Kerry or Kennedy. Rjensen 07:24, 18 August 2006 (UTC)
What I have added is "perceived as liberal". I assure you, the "RINO hunters" don't go around saying "That Olympia Snowe: she's soooo centrist." - Jmabel | Talk 19:26, 19 August 2006 (UTC)
No need to assure us--find a reliable source. Am Cons Union says she's a centrist.Rjensen 19:45, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

The lead now strongly implies that the term was in common use before 1994. I do not believe that is the case. - Jmabel | Talk 04:51, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

good point re 1994, so I dropped 1994 in favor of "recent years" Rjensen 07:18, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

Weasel words[edit]

"There is a suggestion…" by whom? "that RINOs are only in their party for a political advantage (the critics…" who? "…claim…"… - Jmabel | Talk 18:52, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

Further, when was Goldwater ever called a "Republican in name only" as the article now implies? (The sentence in question is sufficiently mealy-mouthed that it merely implies rather than stating this outright.) This seems to be an effort to project this epithet backward in time. I am quite certain that it was not in common use prior to the 1990s. - Jmabel | Talk 23:40, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

Goldwater was repeatedly called out of the GOP mainstream in the 1950s (see Perlstein and Edwards bio of Goldwater). The term "out of the mainstream" meant pretty much the same as RINO today--as the article explains the terminology has changed but not the issue involved. (see also: David W. Reinhard, The Republican Right since 1945 - (1983), noting the 1964 anti-Goldwater slogan "Do You Want a Leader or a Loner?" which said Goldater was extreme and out of the GOP mainstream. (p 186, 190). Reinhard says, "In the case of Goldwater, the persistent feeling that he was not a bona fide conservative in 1964, but a "radical," showed that many considered him outside the mainstream even of the Republican Right." (pp 207-8)Rjensen 00:33, 21 August 2006 (UTC)
This isn't an article about being out of the mainstream of the Republican party. This is (or at least ought to be) an article circumscribed by its title. Perhaps it should be expanded to a history of the various historic rifts and factions in the party (and similarly for the corresponding article on the Democratic Party): frankly, I think those would be much more interesting articles. But then this would be the wrong title. - Jmabel | Talk 06:10, 21 August 2006 (UTC)
Let's not take a narrow view. It is common language to say "X is a Y in name only" where Y refers to a party, religion, or roup of some sort. That common phrase certainly does not by itself deserve an an article. The only reason RINO gets an article is because there is a long history of this kind of intramural fighting. Otherwise we have a very short article: "RINO stands for "Republican in name only" referring to the US Republican party." Rjensen 06:24, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

Other important RINOs[edit]

Wtah other important RINOs? An examples:

  • Senator John Warner of Virginia, who is pro-choice, gun control and voted not guilty in President Clinton impeachment trial, and was possible nommine for Secretary of Defense during Clinton's first time
  • Senator and current President pro tempore Ted Stevens od Alaska, who is pro-choice and also voted not guilty in President Clinton impeachment trial
  • Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama, who is a conservative, but also voted not guilty 19:57, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
Richard Shelby? Speaking as a Democrat, I'm kind of amazed: is this now saying that you cannot be a real Republican unless you think a blow job is an impeachable offense? - Jmabel | Talk 02:48, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

Intro again[edit]

As of just now, the first two sentences of this article were:

Republican In Name Only or RINO refers to a member of the United States Republican Party who votes more with the majority of Democrats than with the majority of Republicans. It is a disparaging term for a person whose political ideology is criticized as too far outside the conservative mainstream.[3]

The first sentence was simply not true: plenty of people who vote more often with the Republicans than not have been called RINOs over a handful of votes, sometimes over a single vote. And the citation doesn't bear out either definition, it is simply an opinion column that uses the term.

I am removing the false first definition and the citation that gives an illusion of this being referenced; I am keeping the second definition. No problem with someone editing further, I'm just "taking out the trash" right now. - Jmabel | Talk 00:27, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

I revised the intro and the first two sections. See my comment above. Alcarillo 17:45, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

"Pro- and Anti-RINO" misleading[edit]

I changed the headers for those two sections. I especially have a disagreement with labelling a group "Pro-RINO". I'm quite sure that the members of those GOP-affiliated groups consider themselves to be more than just Republicans-in-name-only. If anything, only a Democrat or other GOP political opponent could accurately be called "pro-RINO". Also, "RINO-ism" doesn't make any sense. It's enough to say "anti-RINO". Alcarillo 17:49, 24 October 2006 (UTC)


I've been cleaning citations. For the most part, they are very weak. The citations in section More RINOs, according to various organizations typically just name the organization that ostensibly calls this person a RINO; none of them provide a source that could readily be verified. For the organizations listed at Anti-RINO political groups, at least for the most part, the cited pages do not even contain the term "RINO" or "Republican In Name Only", nor do they list any people condemned by these groups as insufficiently Republican. The entries in the section More putative RINOs lack any overt citation at all. (Though at least one—Mary Bono—is in the FRC list above.) - Jmabel | Talk 19:53, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, when I first noticed the addition of that entire list, I thought about a total revert precisely because there were no citations. Or at least removing the names that didn't have an organization attached to it (the ones now in the "Putative" section). The anon user who included that list just seemed to dump the names in there without regard for article organization. Also, the list was not formatted at all. I suspected that it was lifted verbatim from some political source, so I tried searching for some key phrases. Couldn't find anything, though. So I decided it was worth keeping in order to be improved upon.
On a related note, the article could use a citation for RNC official policy vis-a-vis RINOs. Alcarillo 20:43, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
What's with the odd addenda on footnotes: "# ^ RINO on Accessed 27 October 2006." Do they really need to have this extra information in the html tags? Alcarillo 03:00, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure what part of this you are referring to as "odd addenda". It's the footnote number, followed by a link back to what it is a note for, the substance of the reference, and (given that it was online) the date accessed. I don't see anything unnecessary or non-standard there. - Jmabel | Talk 00:01, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
That extra information about when it was accessed seems unnecessary to me, but maybe that's the style now. I've been away from wikipedia for a while and am still catching up on the all changes. Alcarillo 00:35, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
Because web sites can change over time (and even disappear), pretty much all academic citation styles say that the date of access should be included when they are used as references. - Jmabel | Talk 05:57, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

I just removed all names from the "More RINOs, according to various organizations" that did not have an organization attached to it. And looking at some of the the supposed organization's web sites, I'm not seeing a place where they accuse politicians of being a RINO. Also deleted the whole part about Ron Paul; the organization's (Campaign for Working Families) web site gives him at least a 50%, and usually much higher, rating for every congressional term they list.

NPOV Tag[edit]

I added this tag because the terms RINO/DINO are pejorative and subjective, yet the article states that 'candidate X is a RINO/DINO' without attribution. A term like this is easy to abuse and it is commonly used by status quo politicians and wonks who disagree with a trend they dislike within their party. This is the same rhetorical device as arguing that 'a true Christian would never...' or 'if you really loved me...' because assumes that the speaker's definition of a Republican/Democrat/Chritian/love is the only correct one. Attributing the terms to the politician or interest group that uses it is essential as is eliminating the 'many critics say X is a RINO' style of writing (See WP:AWW and WP:WTA). Antonrojo 19:03, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

At least most of the putative "RINOs" are attributed. Who exactly are you saying is referred to without attribution? - Jmabel | Talk 21:24, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
Examples are Bloomberg and Lieberman. The article makes a strong case that they should be labeled as such due to changing parties and the like, and this is WP:OR at best unless it is attributed to a conservative critic or group...which shouldn't be hard to do. After perusing the article again, it expresses the idea that 'RINO/DINO' is relative based on who's using the label better than I had thought at first read and it's still important to state who the label is being applied by (e.g. Evangelicals v. environmentalists v. neoconservatives, etc.). Antonrojo 21:59, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

RINO and rhino[edit]

shouldnt rino go to a disambiguatiopn page, not the page for "republican in name only". I think most people why search for rino are looking for rinocerouses. 02:51, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

  • I doubt it. "rinocerouses" is a pretty serious misspelling. The right spelling is "rhinoceros" and the shortened form is "rhino", not "rino". - Jmabel | Talk 19:15, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

"GOP" is not npov[edit]

Calling it the "Grand Old Party" is far from neutral. It's an advertising slogan. Suggest all usage of "GOP" be changed to "Republican" or "Republican Party." 21:55, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

GOP is commonly used in the U.S. the same way that initials of parties are used in Europe. Most people don't even know what it originally stood for a century ago; it doesn't particularly have any connotations, neutral or otherwise. See for example Well-known GOP activist held in sex-predator sting (Seattle Times headline), Senate GOP Blocks Debate on Iraq Resolution (NPR headline), both in the first 30 Google hits on "GOP". - Jmabel | Talk 00:17, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

"More RINOs, according to various organizations"[edit]

Shouldn't all of these be sourced? Granola Bars 23:27, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

Yes, per WP:BLP, they should be. The appelation is clearly intended to be negative when it is used, so any inclusion must be sourced by our policies. I'm removing. GRBerry 03:27, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

RINO origins[edit]

Under the "Origin" section, there is one story given of the origin of the RINO acronym, but under "Regional differences and political history" another history of the acronym origin is given. The first is unsourced and the second uses hedging language and the sourcing is questionable.

I propose that the origin of the acronym be stated as "unclear" until we can find some respected sources that give a more definite origin of the acronym. Thoughts? I'm not extremely experienced with internal conflicts in articles, so I'm not sure what convention dictates in this situation. Panchitavilletalk 07:36, 28 August 2007 (UTC)


Why disparaging? I'd like to see a source for that. The term may as well be construed as a compliment, considering what today's Republican party stands for. I dorftrotteltalk I 15:51, December 7, 2007

nix Individuals claimed to be "RINOs" section[edit]

This section is non-encyclopedic, as it will continue change as the Top 10 lists are updated and during and after election years. It is the main reason for the claims POV in the latest AfD discussion. Having a link to the lists in the Ext Link section may be a good compromise. --Evb-wiki (talk) 18:53, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

Mitt Romney?[edit]

The explanation in this is a point-by-point refutation of the accusation. Far far off NPOV. I'm going to change it a bit (assuming, perhaps unsafely that the facts themselves are correct) but for reference, here is the original:

Giuliani has, ironically, engaged in an exchange of RiNO accusations with Mitt Romney, competing challenger for the 2008 presidential nomination. Romney also raised state fees (which was offset by cutting other taxes), supported "gay rights" (but opposed "gay marriage"), did not fight pre-existing gun control laws in Massachusetts, created comprehensive health care State system ("based on free market principles" - contrary to Democratic government care proposals), et cetera. Many earlier “liberal” overtures, attributed to Romney, were mostly of tactical nature – in order to win the most liberal US state election. As a Governor of Massachusetts Romney was perceived by observers as rather conservative. At the later stage of the 2008 primary season, Mitt Romney is considered by some to be the most Conservative Republican candidate as opposed to McCain and Huckabee.

K/—Preceding unsigned comment added by Wcoynelloyd (talkcontribs) 20:55, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

External Links[edit]

Most of the external links are broken. Does anyone have any updated links? (talk) 05:37, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

John McCain considered a RINO?[edit]

I could have sworn that I heard that McCain was bestowed with the title of "RINO" somewhere between 2000 and 2006. Ironic, considering his current position as GOP nominee. Does anyone else recall this? And do any of the archives back it up? -- (talk) 22:43, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

McCain hasn't been labeled a RINO per se, but as bucked the party a few times in important ways that have led to his media status as "maverick." However, I am not insinuating that the title maverick is in any way more mutually exclusive. Tiefoon (talk) 06:59, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

In addition - Primary Source Links are down[edit]

In addition, most of the primary source links at the bottom of the page seem to be down. Doesn't surprise me; if McCain was on the RINO list, might be an attempt at whitewashing the Internet record before the election. -- (talk) 22:49, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

Still don't understand exactly WHAT a RINO or an anti-RINO believes in[edit]

In my opinion, this article does not provide any definition of what a RINO is but makes allusions to those who are considered a RINO. It's completely useless information without any attempt to define the platform of a RINO in more depth than not holding traditional republican views. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Netkatarina (talkcontribs) 04:26, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

Earlier Citation - predates Celeste Greig[edit]

From <>

Earliest Citation: Bill Clinton would have been proud of what was happening on the third-floor Senate corner at the State House this week.

The Republicans were moving out and the Democrats and "RINOs" (Republicans In Name Only) were moving in. —John DiStaso, "Merrill Taps Scamman, Strome and a Thomson," The Union Leader (Manchester, NH), December 31, 1992 (talk) 09:48, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

From December 16, 1992:

<> — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:51 August 2 2011 (UTC)

Added. Thanks much! / edg 12:46, 2 August 2011 (UTC)

Proposing deletion of article[edit]

How does one nominate an article for deletion? “RINO” is a term used only by a single digit minority of extremists, and has no place in an encyclopedia or any legitimate venue, on line or otherwise Cosand (talk) 20:44, 9 November 2009 (UTC)

I agree. If anything, this and Rockefeller Republican could and should be merged, since they refer to the same thing, but from different eras. PunkyMcPunkersen (talk) 06:27, 21 April 2010 (UTC)
Thank You, PunkyMcPunkersen for the "unencyclopedic" tag. It really is. (talk) 06:34, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

Suggestion 2[edit]

RINO is a derogatory term (see Rockefeller Republican 17:04, 18 April 2010)

It is unnotable to make a WHOLE ARTICLE about such a thing.

It is UNENCYCLOPEDIC to give credibility to name-calling like this.

The mere existence of this article is NON-NEUTRAL.

Wikipedia at its WORST! (talk) 06:23, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

Despite the prior author's tone, I agree that this article is of no encyclopedic value. If it isn't already in the nominated for deletion page, I will place it there. Spiral5800 (talk) 09:21, 4 July 2010 (UTC)

Suggestion 3[edit]

Wikipedia itself says that "RINO" is a disparaging term (see Rockefeller Republican 17:04, 18 April 2010). This is a WHOLE ARTICLE about NAME CALLING. Such a term is used, true, but a WHOLE ARTICLE?!!???!! It can be mentioned surely, but WITHIN some other article. Elevating it with its own article gives credibility to the wrong kind of thing. Delete it, merge it, change the name, DO ANYTHING! It degrades Wikipedia to retain it under it's current form (name). UTTERLY UNENCYLOPEDIC! If no one responds to this in a few days, I'll get your attention by drastic measures. I will delete it myself, and/or merge it, and/or change the name SUMMARILY! And I'll do a crude job of it too. So somebody do it well or I'll do it badly! (talk) 02:15, 23 April 2010 (UTC)


I can't believe all the passionate attention given to this article. A RINO is a perjorative hurled by conservative Republicans toward moderate/liberal Republicans. Who is considered a RINO depends upon who's doing the hurling; trying to define it more is pure folly. It's like saying someone is a jackass. My definition of who is a jackass may be different that yours.

I think it's fair to say, however, that the overwhelming majority of conservatives who use the term would have no objection to having it hurled at elected officials such as Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe.

I notice that Celeste Greig was mentioned. I first met Celeste during the 1993 mayoral campaign of Dick Riordan (probably 95% of conservatives would concur that Riordan is a RINO).

Later that year, I saw her at a meeting of the Republican Party of Los Angeles County, where she gave me a button with the word RINO on it, crossed off by a red slash. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:40, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

Could you get us a (GFDL/free use) photograph of that button? (I suppose it's similar this one.) It would be nicer than relying on a written explanation of the button's appearance. Wikimedia Commons does not have this button, and the only ones I can find online are non-free sources. / edg 17:35, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

How come the list of "DINO"s is kept but this one doesn't have a list?[edit]

If we can include Democrats that other Democrats think are too conservative, why can't we keep this list? J390 (talk) 07:48, 16 March 2012 (UTC)


The page Neo-Mugwump, which currently redirects here, has been nominated for deletion. Your views would be welcome in the discussion at Wikipedia:Redirects for discussion/Log/2013 April 22#Neo-Mugwump. Thryduulf (talk) 21:19, 22 April 2013 (UTC)[edit]

I added a reference to, a site which I founded. It apparently has now been deleted on the grounds of not being "notable" with the instruction to discuss it on this page before attempting to restore it. I am a a novice in the world of Wikipedia, so I have no idea who gets to delete items and to decide if they are sufficiently "notable," but here's what I have to say. Notability is, perhaps, in the eye of the beholder, but if you visit the site you will find that it presents serious discussions of serious issues from the point of view of a "RINO" who is a lifelong Republican and who served in senior positions in two Republican administrations (Nixon and Ford). The site is in its infancy, only a few weeks old, but has had nearly 2,000 views so far. (talk) 13:02, 21 July 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not a place to publicize new projects
I think I'm hearing you say that this site should be considered "notable" because you consider the ideas on this site to be good. What is needed is evidence (preferably in independent, secondary sources) demonstrating that this site is somehow important in the discussion. You own opinion on this is at best original research.
The announcement that

Some[who?] RINOs have adopted the term as a badge of honor.

is unsupported. All I am seeing is this site announcing itself as representative of some sort of movement. We need documentation of this in reliable sources.
Also, you seem to be conflating the term RINO with moderate. It seems unlikely that most moderate Republicans (at least those who intend for the party to adopt their views) would self-identify as "not true Republicans", so we would need evidence that this identity extends beyond a small fringe group of little influence. A self-published site "in it's infancy, only a few weeks old", and representing the view of one self-identified "RINO" (of whatever credentials) is not evidence for that claim, nor does it merit inclusion as an external link. / edg 17:02, 4 August 2013 (UTC)


Spartan7W added the image File:RINO.png, his/her own work. Also File:DINO.png at Democrat In Name Only. While it looks like good work, and does sort of convey the meaning by borrowing from other political imagery, I'm a little concerned about using original visual interpretations in this kind of way. We use illustrations to help to explain concepts or to visualize something for which no free image exists (and a few other reasons), but here the image doesn't help to clarify beyond what the text says and isn't substituting for non-free material. In other words, the image has no official connection to the term "Republican In Name Only" and is more along the lines of an artist's interpretation of what the logo should be. Anyway, if it's a problem (I don't know), and to the extent it is a problem, it didn't seem urgent enough to revert, so just leaving it here to see what others think. Definitely a thanks is in order for Spartan7W either way, though, for producing and sharing the image. I wonder if it's not used in the article, if there's another place it could be used (a Portal, say). — Rhododendrites talk \\ 05:23, 9 August 2015 (UTC)

I understand the issue raised. However I have taken a Rhino silhouette, used in African traffic signs, which is absent of artistic perversion. It includes elements seen by both parties. The terms RINO and DINO are both, in many respects, names used to poke fun, and this is representative. Spartan7W § 00:06, 13 August 2015 (UTC)

The image was removed by Edgarde shortly after I opened this thread. MB298 has now restored it. I'm still of the mind that it's inappropriate. I'm going to go ahead and remove it again on the grounds explained above. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 21:41, 13 February 2016 (UTC)

Rhododendrites That's fine with me, I didn't check the page history or talk page before adding it. MB298 (talk) 00:09, 14 February 2016 (UTC)


The currently cited sources make it clear that "cuckservative" is used exclusively by white supremacists to attack Republicans for not being racist. When I tried to clarify this, the change was immediately reverted as "not constructive".

Cite 11: The term has emerged out of the white supremacist movement as a term of abuse for white conservatives deemed race traitors unwilling to forthrightly defend the interests of white America.

Cite 12: The danger is that otherwise well-meaning grassroots conservatives might mistakenly think‬ this term, which, at best, is meant to be emasculating, was merely an‬ anodyne synonym for RINO. Instead, it’s a rallying cry for white supremacists and “neoreactionaries” who, for whatever reason, seem to back Trump.

Cite 13: I'll defer to Richard Spencer, president of the white nationalist National Policy Institute.

"#Cuckservative” is a full-scale revolt, by Identitarians and what I’ve called the 'alt Right,' against the Republican Party and conservative movement," Spencer explained in an e-mail. "The 'cuck' slur is vulgar, yes, but then piercingly accurate. It is the cuckold who, whether knowingly or unknowingly, loses control of his future. This is an apt psychological portrait of white 'conservatives,' whose only identity is comprised of vague, abstract 'values,' and who are participating in the displacement of European Americans — their own children."

I'm going to make the alteration again, to improve the clarity of the article, avoid possible confusion with the term and prevent the obscuring of it's history. (talk) 05:14, 6 February 2016 (UTC)greenwoodjw

Stop reverting without comment (talk) 07:58, 12 February 2016 (UTC)greenwoodjw

That seems to be in the imperative tense. Sorry, no, I will not obey that command. I will revert your latest nonsense edit without comment. Sorry, - Wikidemon (talk) 09:50, 12 February 2016 (UTC)

Ronald Reagan[edit]

It's been pointed out many times that judged by current (2010-2016) ideological standards, Ronald Reagan would have to be considered a "RINO": [4], [5], [6], [7], [8], [9] etc. etc. AnonMoos (talk) 07:42, 26 November 2016 (UTC)

This argument is speculation intended to describe the rightward drift of the party, and (with more academic sources) might be better suited to an article on US Conservatism or Reagan's legend than on the terms this article covers. Here they are tangential soapboxing. I doubt we will see modern Republicans retroactively declare Reagan a RINO.
This article is vulnerable to becoming a coatrack for other issues. Not every usage of RINO merits inclusion here. / edg 15:28, 9 March 2017 (UTC)

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