Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) said in a recent interview that she wouldn’t vote to boost House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to the role of speaker if Republicans reclaim House majority next year.
“I think that we’ve got to have leaders who lead based on principle, and that’s not what we’ve seen from him,” Cheney told Politico in an interview published early Tuesday.
Cheney’s stinging comments come after the former third-ranking House Republican was ousted from leadership last week, and has become one of the most prominent voices aiming to loosen former President Donald Trump’s grip on the party.
McCarthy had endorsed Cheney’s axing as House leadership rallied around Rep. Liz Stefanik (R-NY) — a Trump loyalist who voted to invalidate election results on Jan. 6 — as her replacement.
He later brushed away suggestions that her removal from leadership had anything to do with her repudiation of Trump’s big election lie, while proclaiming his own ambitions for the House Speaker role if Republicans win back majority next year.
“I don’t think anybody is questioning the legitimacy of the presidential election,” he told reporters after a meeting with President Joe Biden at the White House last week. “I think that is all over with,” he said.
On White House grounds that day he also told reporters he was “looking forward to being the Speaker in the next Congress.”
In his own play for political ascension and through efforts to keep Cheney quiet, McCarthy and the legion of House Republicans who are refusing to own up to the consequences of Trump’s Big Lie, have emboldened the Wyoming lawmaker, and gifted her an even bigger podium.
Cheney told Politico that she didn’t regret a decision last year to pass on a Senate bid, suggesting that the House is where her battleground for truth is — at least for now.
“As we’re engaging in these battles about principles and the future and standing up for truth, I think that these battles really are being fought out in the House,” Cheney said.