Melina Mara / Pool / AFP via Getty Images
Minority House Leader Kevin McCarthy said on Tuesday that Republican lawmakers had expressed concerns to him about Representative Liz Cheney’s ability to “carry out the message,” fueling speculation that Republican no. ° 3 could again face an effort to oust him from the party leadership. .
“There is no concern as to how she voted for impeachment – that decision has been made,” the California Republican said. Fox and his friends.
“I’ve heard members worry about her ability to carry out her duties as conference chair, to carry out the message. We all have to work together if we can win the majority. “
His comments come a day after Cheney responded to a statement by former President Donald Trump once again perpetuating his false claim that the presidential election was stolen from him.
“The 2020 presidential election was not stolen,” Cheney said tweeted. “Anyone who claims this is the case is spreading THE BIG LIE, turning their backs on the rule of law and poisoning our democratic system.”
The 2020 presidential election was not stolen. Anyone who claims this is the case is spreading THE BIG LIE, turning their backs on the rule of law and poisoning our democratic system.
– Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) May 3, 2021
The Wyoming lawmaker, the most senior woman in the House Republican leadership, has faced an intense backlash from her party since she voted to impeach Trump for his role in the Jan.6 uprising .
“There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution,” Cheney said in a statement at the time.
Her vote won her censorship from the Wyoming Republican Party and a growing list of top challengers, as well as calls to dismiss her from her leadership position. She was able to rule them out in a secret ballot in February with McCarthy’s backing.
But since then, the rift between Cheney and the rest of the GOP leadership has widened as McCarthy and Minority Whip Steve Scalise hug the former president to help Republicans in the upcoming midterm election.
“This idea that you just don’t know about President Trump is not where we are, and frankly he still has a lot to offer and has offered a lot. He wants to help us win back the House,” Scalise told Axios recently. .
Last month, Cheney, who is responsible for the party’s messaging, clearly did not invite Trump to speak when Republicans gathered for their annual retreat in his home state of Florida. Once there, she told reporters that any Republican who opposes the electoral college count should never be considered a GOP presidential candidate.
“I think some of our candidates who led the charge, especially the senators who led the unconstitutional charge, did not certify the election, you know, in my opinion, that’s disqualifying,” he said. she declared to New York Post.
Cheney also broke with party leaders who are blocking a commission of inquiry into the Jan.6 attack because they also want it to examine the violence around some of the racial justice protests last summer. Democrats said it was a distraction, and Cheney agreed.
“I think it’s a different set of problems, a different set of problems and a different set of solutions,” she said on the retreat. “And so I think it’s very important that the January 6 commission focuses on what happened on January 6 and then what led to this day.”
The tension between Cheney and the GOP leadership was fully exposed at a press conference in late February, when reporters asked McCarthy if Trump should speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference. .
“He should,” McCarthy replied bluntly. The question was then put to Cheney, who answered from behind as McCarthy remained at the desk.
“I’ve been clear in my perspective on President Trump and to what extent, after January 6, I don’t think he should play a role in the future of the party or the country,” Cheney said. , at the closure of McCarthy. his eyes in apparent frustration.
McCarthy: “On that positive note, thank you very much.” pic.twitter.com/ZOkTUbpQCP
– CSPAN (@cspan) February 24, 2021
An awkward pause followed, with McCarthy abruptly ending the press conference with “on that positive note, thank you very much.” The couple walked off in different directions and have rarely appeared together since then.
University of Wyoming professor Jim King said Cheney’s opposition to Trump had not yet ruined his political fortunes, but changed them.
“She might not be on track to be a speaker anymore, but I don’t see that she’s in a position where she’s going to lose in Wyoming,” he said.
Fundraising for her re-election bid has been strong and she continues to enjoy the support of Republicans such as former House Speaker Paul Ryan, as well as other Republicans who also supported Trump’s impeachment.
“Anyone of conscience draws a line beyond which they will not go: Liz Cheney refuses to lie,” said Senator Mitt Romney, R-Utah, tweeted Tuesday.