Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) on Tuesday bashed Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), after the New York Republican gained endorsements from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) to replace Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) as conference chair.
The Texas Republican, however, did not come to Cheney’s defense, saying that the third-ranking Republican “has been looking backwards” for criticizing former President Trump after she voted to impeach the former president for “incitement of insurrection.”
After declaring that he will vote to “recall” Cheney during the House Republican Conference’s vote on Wednesday to oust Cheney as its chair, Roy took aim at Stefanik for her past moderate record.
“Let us contemplate the message Republican leadership is about to send by rushing to coronate a spokesperson whose voting record embodies much of what led to the 2018 ass-kicking we received by Democrats,” Roy wrote.
Although few Republicans have come out in defense of Cheney amid House Republicans’ push for her ouster, some House Republicans have been privately criticized McCarthy for the move, according to Politico Playbook.
One unnamed lawmaker told Playbook that he might vote against McCarthy for the speaker position due to his “weak leadership,” and signaled that other Republicans may do the same.
“Kevin McCarthy has pissed off enough members of his own conference that he’s going to have to go back to his former days as a whip to try to figure out where his votes are,” the Republican said. “I’d be worried if I was him.”
Some conservative lawmakers have expressed concerns over Stefanik’s voting record, which has been largely more moderate than Cheney’s, according to Politico.
While Stefanik has painted herself as a Trump loyalist who peddles the former president’s falsehoods of a stolen election, she represents a more moderate district in upstate New York. Additionally, Stefanik previously served as a co-chair of the moderate Tuesday Group that boasts only a 48 percent lifetime score from the conservative group Heritage Action.
According to Fox News, a “candidate forum” is expected on Thursday for potential successors to Cheney as House GOP conference chair, as well as another vote to elect Cheney’s replacement on Friday.