McCarthy notes ‘difficulties’ when asked about Cheney comments
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said when asked in a new interview about House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney’s (Wyo.) recent comments that it “creates difficulties” when leaders don’t “work as one team.”
“There’s a responsibility, if you’re gonna be in leadership, leaders eat last,” McCarthy told Politico on Monday when asked about Cheney’s remarks. “And when leaders try to go out and not work as one team, it creates difficulties.”
McCarthy also told the news outlet he’s spoken to Cheney about toning down her rhetoric. But when asked about her response, he reportedly said: “You be the judge.”
The interview came after Cheney earlier in the day broke with McCarthy, telling reporters that a proposed 9/11-style independent commission should narrowly focus on the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
McCarthy, who has been one of former President Trump’s most loyal defenders, has said the scope of the bipartisan commission should also include other episodes of political violence, like Black Lives Matter and antifa protests that have turned violent at times.
“What happened on Jan. 6 is unprecedented in our history, and I think that it’s very important that the commission be able to focus on that,” Cheney said at a Republican policy retreat in Florida. “I’m very concerned, as all my colleagues are, about the violence that we saw, the BLM, the antifa violence last summer. I think that’s a different set of issues, a different set of problems and a different set of solutions.”
Cheney later told Politico that if “we minimize what happened on Jan. 6th and if we appease it, then we will be in a situation where every election cycle, you could potentially have another constitutional crisis.”
“If you get into a situation where we don’t guarantee a peaceful transfer of power, we won’t have learned the lessons of Jan. 6. And you can’t bury our head in the sand,” she said. “It matters hugely to the survival of the country.”
Cheney was one of 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for his role in the Jan. 6 insurrection, which was aimed at stopping the certification of President Biden’s election victory. Trump was ultimately acquitted in his Senate trial.
When asked on Monday about the leaders in the Republican Party, she did not mention the former president.
“I think right now, the Republican Party is headed by [Senate Minority Leader] 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.”
In an interview with the New York Post published Monday, Cheney also said she is not ruling out running for president.
“I’m not ruling anything in or out — never is a long time,” Cheney told the newspaper when asked if she would ever consider running in the future.
Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.