Liz Cheney announces bid for GOP leadership

Liz Cheney announces bid for GOP leadership
© Greg Nash

Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyDemocrats plow ahead with Jan. 6 probe, eyeing new GOP reinforcements GOP's Banks burnishes brand with Pelosi veto Former speed skater launches bid for Stefanik seat 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 RodgersHouse committee approves slate of bills to improve telecom security Equilibrium/ Sustainability — Presented by NextEra Energy — West Coast wildfires drive East Coast air quality alerts House passes bill requiring EPA to regulate 'forever chemicals' in drinking water 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 WalkerFirst hearing set for lawsuit over Florida's new anti-riot bill NRA appealing Florida ban on gun sales to people under 21 Trump's biggest political obstacle is Trump 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 TrumpNew Capitol Police chief to take over Friday Overnight Health Care: Biden officials says no change to masking guidance right now | Missouri Supreme Court rules in favor of Medicaid expansion | Mississippi's attorney general asks Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade Michael Wolff and the art of monetizing gossip 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 ScaliseOvernight Health Care: Biden officials says no change to masking guidance right now | Missouri Supreme Court rules in favor of Medicaid expansion | Mississippi's attorney general asks Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade S.E. Cupp: 'The politicization of science and health safety has inarguably cost lives' GOP's Banks burnishes brand with Pelosi veto 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 JordanDemocrats plow ahead with Jan. 6 probe, eyeing new GOP reinforcements S.E. Cupp: 'The politicization of science and health safety has inarguably cost lives' GOP's Banks burnishes brand with Pelosi veto MORE (R-Ohio), the former chairman of the conservative Freedom Caucus, announced on Hill.TV that he will challenge Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyDemocrats plow ahead with Jan. 6 probe, eyeing new GOP reinforcements GOP's Banks burnishes brand with Pelosi veto Meghan McCain on Pelosi, McCarthy fight: 'I think they're all bad' 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.