Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-AR) said on Wednesday that Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) shouldn’t be punished with a removal from her post as conference chair for making a “vote of conscience” to impeach former President Donald Trump.
“In terms of Liz Cheney, she’s a conservative,” Hutchinson said during a CNN interview on Wednesday. “She did a vote of conscience and she should not be ousted because of one vote of conscience.”
The comments come as top House Republicans deny that Cheney was facing calls for her removal because she had been among a fledging group of ten House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for inciting an insurrection on the U.S. Capitol in January.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has been particularly pointed about trying to steer the narrative away from Cheney’s vote — contending that calls for her replacement had more to do with her ability to carry a unifying message to help Republicans stack wins in 2022.
Cheney had won over calls for her removal from her post for that vote in February. At that time, McCarthy had defended her.
On Wednesday, Hutchinson warned that American voters wouldn’t be fooled from recognizing that Cheney’s removal from her spot as the number three Republican had been — at least in part — “an ouster because of one vote.”
“And I don’t think this is healthy for our party, that perception. We’ve got to got back to talking about ideas and how to unify ourselves,” he said.