Liz Cheney announces bid for GOP leadership

Liz Cheney announces bid for GOP leadership
© Greg Nash

Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyElection Countdown: Florida Senate race heads to hand recount | Dem flips Maine House seat | New 2020 trend - the 'friend-raiser' | Ad war intensifies in Mississippi runoff | Blue wave batters California GOP The Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines — Trump sanctions 17 Saudis over Khashoggi killing | Insurgents seek female challenger to Pelosi for Speakership | Broward County finishes machine recount The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by T-Mobile — House, Senate leaders named as Pelosi lobbies for support to be Speaker 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 Hill's Morning Report — Presented by T-Mobile — House, Senate leaders named as Pelosi lobbies for support to be Speaker Liz Cheney wins House GOP leadership post McCarthy defeats Jordan for minority leader in 159-to-43 vote 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 WalkerDems seek to overhaul voting rules in Florida legal fight  Election Countdown: Abrams ends fight in Georgia governor's race | Latest on Florida recount | Booker, Harris head to campaign in Mississippi Senate runoff | Why the tax law failed to save the GOP majority McCarthy, other Republicans back Ratcliffe to be next attorney general 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 TrumpMichelle Obama says not always easy to live up to "we go high" Georgia certifies elections results in bitterly fought governor's race Trump defends border deployment amid fresh scrutiny 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 ScaliseMcCarthy, other Republicans back Ratcliffe to be next attorney general Rep. Mike Johnson wins race for RSC chairman Election Countdown: Florida Senate race heads to hand recount | Dem flips Maine House seat | New 2020 trend - the 'friend-raiser' | Ad war intensifies in Mississippi runoff | Blue wave batters California GOP 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 JordanRep. Mike Johnson wins race for RSC chairman Election Countdown: Florida Senate race heads to hand recount | Dem flips Maine House seat | New 2020 trend - the 'friend-raiser' | Ad war intensifies in Mississippi runoff | Blue wave batters California GOP Heads up, GOP: Elections have consequences MORE (R-Ohio), the former chairman of the conservative Freedom Caucus, announced on Hill.TV that he will challenge Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyTrump heads to California to meet first responders amid deadly wildfires Hillicon Valley: Russian-linked hackers may have impersonated US officials | Trump signs DHS cyber bill | Prosecutors inadvertently reveal charges against Assange | Accenture workers protest border enforcement work | App mines crypto for bail bonds McCarthy, other Republicans back Ratcliffe to be next attorney general 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.