Liz Cheney announces bid for GOP leadership

Liz Cheney announces bid for GOP leadership
© Greg Nash

Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneySunday shows preview: Shutdown negotiations continue after White House immigration proposal NY Times prints special section featuring women of the 116th Congress Dem leaders avert censure vote against Steve King 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 RodgersHillicon Valley: Republicans demand answers from mobile carriers on data practices | Top carriers to stop selling location data | DOJ probing Huawei | T-Mobile execs stayed at Trump hotel as merger awaited approval House Republicans question mobile carriers on data practices Washington governor announces killer whale recovery plan 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 WalkerFlorida governor suspends Palm Beach County elections supervisor Corker: Breakthrough reached in shutdown stalemate Senate in last-minute talks to find deal to avert shutdown  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 TrumpDACA recipient claims Trump is holding ‘immigrant youth hostage’ amid quest for wall Lady Gaga blasts Pence as ‘worst representation of what it means to be Christian’ We have a long history of disrespecting Native Americans and denying their humanity 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 ScaliseDemocrats will push to retake vote on funding government after chaos on the floor Pelosi pulls State of the Union surprise on Trump House GOP blast Pelosi for suggesting State of the Union delay 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 JordanMcCarthy, allies retaliate against Freedom Caucus leader Republicans request update on investigation into ex-FBI official accused of leaks GOP lawmakers rip Dems for calling Cohen to testify MORE (R-Ohio), the former chairman of the conservative Freedom Caucus, announced on Hill.TV that he will challenge Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthySteve King fundraising off controversy surrounding white supremacy comments House rejects GOP measure to pay workers but not open government McCarthy, allies retaliate against Freedom Caucus leader 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.