Four tribes of Trump's GOP opposition

Story highlights

  • The Libertarian Leaners: Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Ben Sasse
  • The Moderate Wing: Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Dean Heller
  • The Bipartisan Group: John Kasich, John McCain, Jeff Flake
  • The Twitter Opposition: Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, Lindsey Graham

Washington (CNN)Democrats aren't the only people in Washington who have stood in the way of Donald Trump's agenda over his first six months in office.

Even members of the Republican President's own party haven't been the easiest to work with at the beginning of his term, disagreeing on everything from the Russia investigation to health care reform to those early morning tweets.
The President's relationship with Republicans in Congress has become more complicated after he criticized senators for not passing a health reform bill and then large majorities passed a Russian sanctions bill over his objection.
    So who are these Republicans who aren't always on board with Trump? They range from moderate governors to conservatives in the Senate -- and when it comes to Trump's tweets -- more Republicans than you might think.
    Here are the four tribes of Republicans who have stood up to Donald Trump.

    1. The libertarian leaners

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      Sen. Mike Lee pens new book on figures left out of history


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    Some libertarian-leaning Republicans and conservatives on the far right of the political spectrum haven't been afraid to voice their opposition to Trump and his agenda.
    Sens. Rand Paul, Mike Lee and Ted Cruz were three of the several initial holdouts in the Senate health care debate. Trump has a particularly unique rivalry with Cruz, who ran against Trump in the 2016 presidential election and failed to endorse him at the GOP convention. Sen. Ben Sasse also often falls into this orbit.
    Meanwhile, on the House side, the libertarian-leaning Rep. Justin Amash from Michigan has also voiced his opposition to Trump. He's been one of the few Republicans to even mention the word impeachment and has been outspokenly critical at times against the President.

    2. The moderate wing

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      Collins, Murkowski open up about 'no' vote


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    Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski have repeatedly been the reliable GOP opposition in the Senate -- on Betsy DeVos's nomination to become secretary of education, on allowing states to strip funding from Planned Parenthood and on multiple health care reform votes.
    Meanwhile, Nevada Sen. Dean Heller and his state's governor, Brian Sandoval, opposed the GOP health care plan through much of the process, as did West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito. Heller made a forceful speech in June opposing an early version of the bill, calling it "not the answer." Heller and Capito, however, did vote to advance the "skinny repeal" amendment backed by McConnell and most of the GOP caucus.
    Other moderates who haven't hesitated to oppose the President include Rep. Carlos Curbelo of Florida, who like Heller, faces a tough re-election battle in 2018.

    3. The bipartisan advocates

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      Sen. Flake: GOP is facing an identity crisis


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    Some more moderate Republicans and also conservatives have explicitly made arguments appealing to a higher sense of bipartisanship and integrity while opposing the Trump agenda.
    Sen. Jeff Flake waded into this camp in an excerpt of his book in Politico this week. "There was a time when the leadership of the Congress from both parties felt an institutional loyalty that would frequently create bonds across party lines in defense of congressional prerogatives in a unified front against the White House, regardless of the president's party," he wrote.
    Sen. John McCain made similar remarks from the Senate floor days after his brain cancer diagnosis and before sinking the health care bill.
    "I hope we can again rely on humility, on our need to cooperate, on our dependence on each other to learn how to trust each other again and by so doing better serve the people who elected us," he said.
    Ohio Gov. John Kasich, one of Trump's primary rivals in 2016, has been calling for bipartisanship and critiquing the President from afar. Collins and Murkowski have also made these calls, especially during the health care debate.

    4. The Twitter opposition

    But many more Republicans -- including some who don't usually hold themselves in opposition to the President -- have voiced concern about his tweets.
    Trump has raised eyebrows throughout the campaign and his young presidency with tweets about everything from Russia to Hillary Clinton to criticizing his own attorney general.
    Even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell described Trump's tweets amid the health care debate as making his job "more challenging."
    Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse called a June tweet about MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski "beneath the dignity of your office" and Sen. Lindsey Graham agreed. And Speaker Paul Ryan said he didn't "see that as an appropriate comment" lamenting that it did not help attempts to improve the civility of politics in Washington.
    And Republican voters agree. A majority of Republicans (53%) said in a Fox News poll in June that Trump's tweets are doing more to hurt his agenda than help it. Six in 10 evangelical Christians and almost two in three whites without a college degree say they are not fans of Trump's tweets.
    Even a majority (51%) of self-reported Trump voters said his tweets hurt his agenda. And four in five Republicans say they either disapprove of Trump's tweet or wish he'd be more cautious.