House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC) on Sunday took aim at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) amid House Republicans preparing to oust Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WYO as its conference chair for refusing to bend to former President Trump’s election fraud falsehoods.
In an interview with CNN, Clyburn was asked about House Republicans’ embrace of the big lie of a stolen election that Trump continues to push and how Cheney’s refusal to go along with the former president’s bogus claims led to her being ostracized within own caucus.
Clyburn acknowledged that he finds little common ground with the third-ranking Republican politically, while decrying House Republicans’ push to boot her from her leadership position.
“I don’t agree with Liz on much politically, but that’s how we grow as a country. This whole thing that everybody ought to be marching in lockstep, that is what leads people to destruction,” Clyburn said. “People ought to have a diversity of thought. Diversity is very, very important.”
Clyburn added that he wants to see a “strong Republican Party” that honors his parents who were Republicans, before taking aim at the party’s embrace of the big lie.
“But this party, Republican Party, today is showing so much dishonor to the people who made it possible, the people who, down from Abraham Lincoln, kept this party alive on the basis of anti-slavery, which itself was a big lie, and now they’re perpetuating it,” Clyburn said.
Clyburn argued that despite Republicans constantly complaining about “cancel culture,” the party is “perpetrating that which they argue that they are against.”
Clyburn then turned his focus to McConnell’s remark last week that “100 percent of my focus is standing up to [the Biden] administration” — a remark the Senate minority leader made when he dodged a question about Cheney and her tumult within the GOP.
After criticizing McConnell’s comments in 2010 saying that Republican Party’s goal was for then-President Obama to be a one-term president, Clyburn decried McConnell’s “personal animus toward Democrats that ought not be” and blamed the Senate minority leader for the GOP “losing its way.”
“We are one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. Let’s operate like that,” Clyburn said. “This Republican Party is losing its way on all fronts. And Mitch McConnell is contributing to that in a big way.”
Most prominent Republicans have refused to throw their support behind Cheney as she continues to warn the party against feeding into Trump’s false claims of a stolen election.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has repeatedly refused to go to bat for Cheney amid Republicans’ outrage in the aftermath of her vote to impeach Trump.
Like McCarthy, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) has also openly boosted Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) in a bid to replace Cheney as conference chair.
Watch Clyburn’s remarks below:
“This Republican Party is losing its way on all fronts and Mitch McConnell is contributing to that in a big way,” House Majority Whip James Clyburn reacts to Sen. McConnell stating that 100% of his focus is standing up to the Biden administration. #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/7Dja9sqBZT
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) May 9, 2021