Liz Cheney says McConnell, McCarthy are heads of GOP
House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney (Wyo.) said on Monday that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) are the leaders of the Republican Party, appearing to push back on former President Trump’s ambitions to maintain control over the GOP.
Cheney, one of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump following the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot, made the remarks while at the House Republicans’ policy retreat in Florida after a reporter asked her what role she would like to see Trump take in the 2022 primaries as the GOP seeks to regain a majority in the House.
“I think right now, the Republican Party is headed by Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy in the House. I think our elected leaders, you know, are the ones who are in charge of the Republican Party,” Cheney said.
“And I think as we look at ’22 and ’24, we’re very much going to be focused on substance and on the issues,” Cheney continued. “And I think that’s where you got to attract back the voters that we lost in 2020, by conveying to them that, in fact, you know, we are the party that they can trust. We’re the party of competence and of conservative principles.”
Last week, Cheney said she hadn’t invited Trump when asked if the former president would be making an appearance at the retreat.
Trump has vowed to endorse any primary challenger to Cheney in an apparent form of retribution for her vote to impeach him. He was ultimately acquitted in a Senate trial.
Cheney’s vote sparked a slew of Republican infighting, with many lawmakers calling for her to be removed as conference chair. Embattled Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) traveled to Wyoming to take part in an anti-Cheney rally. Soon after her vote, the Wyoming Republican Party voted to censure her.
However, many other GOP lawmakers have stood by Cheney, including McConnell.
It was reported last week that shortly after Cheney voted to impeach Trump, multiple male Republican lawmakers lined up to criticize her at a conference meeting.
Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) reportedly criticized Cheney for her “defiant attitude,” while Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) purportedly compared the congresswoman to a “girlfriend” at a football game.
Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.) told The New York Times that she was “horrified” by Kelly’s comment.
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