Liz Cheney announces bid for GOP leadership

Liz Cheney announces bid for GOP leadership
© Greg Nash

Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyGOP lawmakers: House leaders already jockeying for leadership contests Pentagon: Trump's 'cost plus 50' plan hasn't been discussed with Europe Liz Cheney: Dems are 'enabling anti-Semitism' 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 RodgersThe 25 Republicans who defied Trump on emergency declaration GOP pushes back on net neutrality bill at testy hearing Hillicon Valley: Dems renew fight over net neutrality | Zuckerberg vows more 'privacy-focused' Facebook | House Dems focus on diversity in Silicon Valley | FBI chief warns of new disinformation campaigns 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 WalkerTrump keeps tight grip on GOP Republicans up for reelection fear daylight with Trump GOP lawmaker offers bill letting NCAA athletes profit from their image 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 TrumpMueller report findings could be a 'good day' for Trump, Dem senator says Trump officials heading to China for trade talks next week Showdown looms over Mueller 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 ScaliseConservatives wage assault on Mueller report Meadows says Mueller's end proves 'no collusion' House Dem renews call for censuring Steve King 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 JordanTrump, Congress brace for Mueller findings Jim Jordan on Mueller probe: 'Distraction is finally over' Papadopoulos tweets 'time to hit back' after Mueller report delivered to DOJ MORE (R-Ohio), the former chairman of the conservative Freedom Caucus, announced on Hill.TV that he will challenge Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyHouse leaders need to modernize Congress for the sake of America Overnight Energy: McConnell tees up vote on Green New Deal | Centrist Dems pitch alternative to plan | House Republican likens Green New Deal to genocide | Coca-Cola reveals it uses 3M tons of plastic every year House GOP lawmaker says Green New Deal is like genocide 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.