WASHINGTON (AP) – House minority leader Kevin McCarthy stepped up pressure on Republican Republican No. 3 Liz Cheney on Tuesday, saying he had concerns about “her ability to do her job” as she traded insults with former President Donald Trump. .
McCarthy’s comments on the Fox News Channel highlighted the former president’s ongoing, if not growing, grip on the chamber’s GOP.
Instead of standing next to Cheney – as he did during an unsuccessful effort to oust her in February ̵
“I heard from members concerned about her ability to do her job as conference chair, to deliver the message,” McCarthy, R-Calif. “We all have to work as one if we can win the majority. Remember that majorities are not given. They are won. ”
McCarthy’s remarks come with Republicans optimistic about their chances of regaining control of the House of Elections in 2022. The Republican Party believes it has a number of issues to use against Democrats and wants to focus there rather than on internal party ruptures.
But between next year’s election and next year’s GOP must resolve the power struggle between pro-Trump party loyalists and those who believe he has harmed the party and the country, repeatedly – and falsely – claiming that last November’s presidential election were stolen from him.
The struggle between Cheney and her critics stands as a microcosm of this battle. It also puts the Republican Republic in an awkward position to seek to oust his top woman from office as the party seeks to undermine the Democrats’ decisive advantage over voters.
McCarthy was interviewed a day after Trump launched a new offensive on his allegations. Numerous state and federal courts and local election officials have found no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 vote,
Critics of Trump have described his allegations as the “Big Lie,” and he issued a statement trying to claim his name.
“From this day on, the fraudulent presidential election in 2020 will be known as the BIG LIE!” He wrote.
But Cheney, R-Wyo., Quickly fired back. She was among 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for his role in sparking a January 6 attack by his supporters on the US Capitol, and she used Twitter on Monday to respond to Trump.
“The 2020 presidential election was not stolen. “Anyone who claims to have been is spreading the BIG LIE, turning his back on the rule of law and poisoning our democratic system,” she wrote.
In response to Cheney, Trump issued a new statement reiterating his desire to see her defeated by another Republican at next year’s WY Championship in Wyoming and saying that people in her state “never liked her.”
Highlighting the Republican rift, Cheney again criticized Trump during a donor event she attended over the weekend with the conservative American Enterprise Institute in Sea Island, Georgia, according to a person familiar with the situation, and provided anonymity to discuss it.
“We cannot accept the idea that the election was stolen. It’s a poison in the blood of our democracy, “Cheney said in comments first reported by CNN. “We cannot whitewash what happened on January 6 or perpetuate Trump’s big lie. This is a threat to democracy. What he did on January 6 is a line that cannot be crossed. “
In another illustration of the internal tensions in the Republican Party, Cheney and McCarthy have not appeared together at press conferences of the House leadership for weeks.
Republicans believe Democrats will be vulnerable to President Joe Biden’s attitude toward the huge number of migrants trying to cross the Southwest border and to failing to make schools and businesses closed with a pandemic open faster.
In February, Conservatives, unhappy with Cheney’s confrontation with Trump, largely lost a secret ballot. to House Republicans seeking to remove her from her leadership job, 145-61.
But in recent weeks, Cheney’s continued willingness to speak out against Trump has drawn new criticism. She is the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney and, like him, is seen as part of the Republican hypostasis, making her a natural target for the party’s pro-Trump conservatives.
McCarthy told reporters that he defended her during a closed-door meeting of Parliament in February, as a result of which Cheney kept her job.
“People may have different opinions. You can have a discussion about this. Liz has the right to vote her conscience, “McCarthy said at the time.
McCarthy, however, struck a very different tone on Tuesday. He said the GP MPs were concerned about the party’s announcements, which is part of the work of leader number 3.
“What is our best step forward so that we can work together instead of attacking each other,” McCarthy said.