Conservatives go after Cheney for Trump CPAC remarks
House conservatives are renewing their calls for Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) to step down from her leadership post after she split with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) over whether former President Trump should speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
House Freedom Caucus members are going after Cheney, chair of the House Republican Conference, following an awkward moment during a press conference Wednesday with the House GOP leader. Just moments after McCarthy said he thought Trump should speak at the CPAC gathering this weekend in Florida, Cheney reiterated her position that she does not think the former president should have a place in the Republican Party because of his role in the deadly insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6.
“That was one of the most outrageous statements, but it’s consistent with at least four other statements she’s made in the last few weeks. As you know, some of us in this group led a charge to remove Ms. Cheney as the chairwoman leader of the Republican conference. I do not believe she is able to carry that out any further,” House Freedom Caucus Chairman Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) said at a press conference on Thursday.
“I also think she’s absolutely devoid of any kind of political reading of what’s going on in the Republican Party in this country right now,” he added. “My guess is there’s probably no room in the party for somebody who takes the positions that Ms. Cheney does and that makes the accusations that she does. She should step down — if she had any sense of shame, she would step down.”
Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) said that he supported Cheney during the previous attempt to oust her, but feels another conversation needs to take place on whether she should remain in her position.
“I consider Liz a friend, and I stood on the floor with the conference defending her right to defend herself and taking what she described was a vote of conscience. I believe that’s important, and so I did so. Yesterday, Liz forfeited a right to be chair of the Republican conference,” he said.
“You cannot stand up and make a statement that is so completely out of step with the Republican conference and where the American people who support President Trump are. I think it is unfortunate that she made those remarks. I think it was short-sighted, but I also think it was purposeful and I think that’s the problem.”
Cheney’s previous criticisms of Trump sparked fierce backlash from conservative lawmakers who unsuccessfully attempted to oust her from her leadership role earlier this month, citing the timing of her announcement that she would vote to impeach Trump for inciting the insurrection and her criticisms of challenging the certification of the election in key swing states. She ultimately prevailed in keeping her position in a 145-61 vote among House Republicans.
But despite retaining her leadership post, conservatives argue she is out of touch with the majority of the party and should vacate her role, which entails leading the House GOP’s messaging efforts.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) — who was recently removed from her committee assignments in a House vote for past inflammatory remarks and embrace of the QAnon conspiracy theory — blasted Cheney on Thursday, noting that a number of the GOP lawmakers who voted to impeach Trump have faced censures and primary challenges.
“I’ll be happy to be very brutally honest about this: Liz Cheney and any other Republican that wants to make statements against President Donald J. Trump is a fool. They are disconnected with the base, they’re disconnected with Republican voters. Liz Cheney was censured in her state, [Rep.] Adam Kinzinger [Ill.] has been censured. Many of these Republicans that are turning their back on Trump who they ran on his coattails have really lost themselves,” she said.
“I can’t wait for his speech at CPAC on Sunday. It’s going to be great, it really is. It’s going to be good to hear from him again because he’s been canceled. And that’s wrong. Everyone in this country should be against people being canceled.”