Liz Cheney announces bid for GOP leadership

Liz Cheney announces bid for GOP leadership
© Greg Nash

Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyFury over Trump Syria decision grows George Conway hits Republicans for not saying Trump's name while criticizing policy Furious Republicans prepare to rebuke Trump on Syria MORE (R-Wyo.) jumped into the race for GOP Conference chair, the No. 3 leadership spot, a day after Democrats took back control of the House.

Her announcement Wednesday pits her against Rep. Cathy McMorris RodgersCathy McMorris RodgersSocial determinants of health — health care isn't just bugs and bacteria Lawmakers deride FTC settlement as weak on Facebook Overnight Energy: Fight over fuel standards intensifies | Democrats grill Trump officials over rule rollback | California official blasts EPA chief over broken talks | Former EPA official says Wheeler lied to Congress MORE (R-Wash.), the highest-ranking GOP woman in Congress who has held the conference chair job for the past six years.

Also on Wednesday, GOP sources said Rep. Mark WalkerBradley (Mark) Mark WalkerCalifornia inspires other states to push to pay college athletes To boost minority serving institutions, bipartisan Future Act needs immediate action Pressure rises on Cheney to make decision MORE (R-N.C.) will run for GOP conference vice chairman.  For the past two years, Walker has served as chair of the conservative Republican Study Committee. 

Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, sent a letter to GOP colleagues on Wednesday morning making her case for the job. She said Republicans need to improve and “modernize” their messaging, and “own the daily news cycles.”

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“Although the 115th Congress has been one of the most productive in history, our message isn’t breaking through.  Despite the tremendous success of the Trump economy, tax cuts, historic regulatory reform, and crucial efforts to begin rebuilding our military and restoring American strength and power, we will be in the minority in the 116th Congress. For us to prevail in this new environment, we must fundamentally overhaul and modernize our House GOP communications operation,” Cheney wrote her colleagues.

“We need to be able to drive our message across all platforms. We need to own the daily news cycles. We need to lead and win the messaging wars,” she added. “Too often we have found ourselves playing catch up without access to useful information, and we have not been on offense. Constantly playing defense in the battle of communications is a recipe for failure.”

Newly empowered Democrats, Cheney said, are preparing to use their new majority to launch a spate of investigations into President TrumpDonald John TrumpBusiness school deans call for lifting country-specific visa caps Bolton told ex-Trump aide to call White House lawyers about Ukraine pressure campaign: report Federal prosecutors in New York examining Giuliani business dealings with Ukraine: report MORE and his administration. Republicans need to hone their messaging to fight back.

“Every member of our conference must be armed and ready to go on offense,” she said. “We must also have an effective rapid response operation — deploying immediate rebuttals and prebuttals to the Democrats’ false claims.”

In the closing days of the midterms, Cheney campaigned alongside Majority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseFurious Republicans prepare to rebuke Trump on Syria Five ways Trump's Syria decision spells trouble Cheney slated to introduce bill to place sanctions on Turkey MORE (R-La.), who could prove to be a powerful ally in her race against McMorris Rodgers.

With their eight-year majority gone, Republicans also will see a contested leadership race at the very top. Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel Jordan10 top Republicans who continue to deny the undeniable Ex-Trump aide to tell Congress she objected to Ukrainian ambassador's removal: report A Republican Watergate veteran's perspective on a Trump impeachment MORE (R-Ohio), the former chairman of the conservative Freedom Caucus, announced on Hill.TV that he will challenge Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthy10 top Republicans who continue to deny the undeniable Furious Republicans prepare to rebuke Trump on Syria Five ways Trump's Syria decision spells trouble MORE (R-Calif.) for the minority leader post.

Closed-door GOP leadership elections will be held next week. To win these races, candidates need to secure only a simple majority of their colleagues’ votes in a secret ballot.