WSJ editorial board: ‘Purging Liz Cheney for honesty would diminish’ GOP

The conservative Wall Street Journal editorial board waded into the debate over Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), warning House Republicans that an internal feud over her criticism of former President Trump could jeopardize potential gains in the 2022 midterms. 

“This should be a hopeful moment for House Republicans. While they’re playing defense in the minority for now, their prospects for picking up the five net seats they need to regain the majority in 2022 are excellent. That is, unless they devolve into internal brawling over the 2020 election,” the Journal’s editorial board wrote Tuesday

“Yet that’s precisely what they seem to be doing as some Members try to oust Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney from the GOP House leadership,” the editorial board argued.

Cheney, the chairwoman of the House Republican Conference, has found herself in the middle of a GOP firestorm over repeated rebukes of Trump, particularly over his claims that the November presidential election was rigged against him despite multiple court rulings throwing out Republican-led challenges to the results. While some centrist Republicans have backed her up, Republicans aligned with Trump have reignited a debate over whether to oust her from her spot in House leadership. 

“Purging Liz Cheney for honesty would diminish the party,” the Journal editorial board said.

The editorial board’s comments come as Cheney battles mounting calls for her to be kicked off her perch as the No. 3 House Republican over her criticism of Trump.

Most recently, Cheney called out Trump for propagating the “big lie” that the election was fraudulent, fueling further criticism that her feud with Trump is highlighting divisions within the party. 

The criticism culminated in a hot mic comment from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who was heard saying, “I’ve had it with her. You know, I’ve lost confidence,” before noting that someone in his conference would introduce an internal resolution to remove her from leadership. 

Allies of Cheney suggest that someone willing to stand up to Trump, including by pushing back on his election fraud allegations, is needed to represent a diverse set of viewpoints within the party and appeal to suburban voters.

The Journal’s editorial board urged McCarthy, Cheney and other Republicans to pivot their focus away from battles with Trump and toward President Biden’s agenda, which has garnered nearly unanimous opposition as the GOP rails against the price tag of infrastructure and other plans.

“Republicans should find a way to speak this truth to voters in 2022 — and quickly turn to running on an agenda for the future that will check Mr. Biden and his cradle-to-grave entitlement state,” wrote the editorial board.

Tags Donald Trump Joe Biden Kevin McCarthy Kevin McCarthy Liz Cheney The Wall Street Journal

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