At this point you have to think McCarthy and his cronies want her out as conference chair simply because she makes them look like such insufferable wimps by comparison. The only person in leadership with the stones to tell the truth about “stop the steal” and the insurrection is a 5’3″ woman.
She and Trump already went one round this morning over whether the election was stolen or not. He came out swinging for round two:
— Tim Swain (@SwainForSenate) May 3, 2021
I don’t know why he’d taunt Cheney by accusing her of not wanting to run again. She’s already said that she’ll run, she’s raising big bucks to do so, and even if she didn’t want to I think she’d run just to deny him the satisfaction of cowing her into submission. That’s been her entire M.O. since January 6 to all appearances — she’s going to do her thing no matter how much it annoys Trump and McCarthy, and if she loses her leadership position or her congressional seat because of it, that’s fine. But she won’t let either of them intimidate her into going away quietly.
She came out for round two as well at an event this afternoon with Paul Ryan aimed at keeping those big bucks flowing:
Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, the No. 3 House Republican, said on Monday her party cannot accept the “poison” of the idea that the 2020 election was stolen and should not “whitewash” the January 6 Capitol riot — and Donald Trump’s role in fomenting it.
“We can’t embrace the notion the election is stolen. It’s a poison in the bloodstream of our democracy,” Cheney said, speaking behind closed doors at a conference in Sea Island, Georgia. “We can’t whitewash what happened on January 6 or perpetuate Trump’s big lie. It is a threat to democracy. What he did on January 6 is a line that cannot be crossed.”
Nothing new there. She’s said similar things a dozen times since the Capitol riot. But that’s the point — she keeps retrodding this ground when invited to comment about Trump instead of dismissing it by saying, “I’ve said all I have to say about the former president. We’re looking forward now.” Two McCarthy buddies told The Hill today that her unwillingness to move on means he’s not going to try to protect her the next time the House conference votes on whether to keep her as chair — and that vote could come soon:
“There is no way that Liz will be conference chair by month’s end,” one key McCarthy ally told The Hill on Monday. “When there is a vote, it won’t be a long conference; it will be fast. Everyone knows the outcome.”…
“This is a broad range of lawmakers who have had it with her,” said a second McCarthy ally. “She’s a liability, and McCarthy’s as fed up as the rest of us that she is focused on the past rather than winning back the House.”…
Another GOP lawmaker agreed. Cheney has “made things worse and worse over the last few weeks with unforced comments and actions. McCarthy held people back from ousting her last time; I don’t think he’ll do it this time.”
Punchbowl reported that the Trump/Cheney feud has become newsy enough that House Republicans are now getting questions about her from their constituents. The last thing a caucus leader should be is a liability for her members but that’s where Cheney has arrived. “Republicans are complaining about her ability to run the GOP Conference’s messaging operation when she has been relentlessly promoting a message with which no one agrees,” the site went on to say. Even some House Republicans who are sympathetic to Cheney’s perspective on Trump have allegedly been grumbling that she does the Never Trump cause no favors by commenting about him whenever she’s asked to do. If the goal is to move the party on from Trumpism, then … move on. Stop talking about him. “He’s gone, and they want his half-life to quickly degrade,” said one GOP strategist to the Washington Examiner.
Except it’s not just Cheney who’s talking about him, is it? Susan Wright led the pack in this weekend’s special election in Texas’s Sixth District because she landed Trump’s endorsement and loudly campaigned on that fact. Kevin McCarthy and Steve Scalise have each made pilgrimages to Mar-a-Lago in the past few months to gladhand Trump and make sure Republicans voters know they’re in his good graces. Republican groups regularly fundraise off of Trump’s name and image. And top-tier GOP presidential hopefuls like Nikki Haley and Marco Rubio admit that the 2024 nomination is Trump’s for the asking, an unheard of bit of dominance by a politician who just lost a national election. The party is happy to have him in the news and to adopt his brand as their own. The only time you hear complaints about wanting to move on from the Trump era is, curiously, when Liz Cheney starts criticizing him.
I’ll leave you with CNN’s report on movement behind the scenes within the House caucus to solve their Cheney problem.
Key question is whether McCarthy will stand behind Cheney like last time, or will he call for a quick vote seeking her ouster in conference meeting?
Unclear what he will do.
Jim Banks to me: “She seems very focused on the past and tearing down other Republicans like myself.” pic.twitter.com/qL9e4xq1UN
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) May 3, 2021
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