MBefore her removal from the House leadership on Wednesday, Liz Cheney told her colleagues that the nation needed a “truth-based” Republican Party, warning that embracing Donald Trump would pull us back and make us complicit in his efforts to dismantle our democracy. ”
Hours later, after Republicans from the House quickly stripped Cheney of her leadership position, they were able to prove her case at a Jan. 6 hearing.
Representative Andrew Clyde (R-GA) said he called the uprising an “bald lie” because the people who flow into the Capitol look like “normal tourist visits”
“Trump supporters lost their lives that day,” said spokesman Jodie Heath (R-GA), “not Trump supporters who took the lives of others.”
The embrace of a fictional version on January 6 was a natural progression after what they did this morning – charging Cheney from her position as chair of the GOP conference. And perhaps Cheney’s propensity to tell the truth about Trump, the uprising, and the Republican lies about voter fraud ultimately sealed her fate.
Just don’t tell that to Republican members. If you ask them, you will receive an assortment of tormented explanations.
“It’s just a leadership style,” spokesman Tim Burchett (R-TN) told The Daily Beast on Tuesday.
“I felt she was pushing too hard to spend more money on Trump’s first budget,” said spokesman Glenn Grotman (R-WI), referring to something that happened four years ago.
“There’s just been too much distraction,” spokesman Byron Donalds (R-FL) told reporters on Wednesday.
In interviews with more than 20 Republicans in parliament this week, it was clear that most members of the GP were unhappy that Cheney continued to represent them in the leadership. But their justifications were often far from consistent, and the real reason they wanted so much to take away Cheney’s megaphone — whether Republicans would want to acknowledge it or even realize it — was that it undermined a key GO initiative: a lie.
Every time Cheney defiantly said that the 2020 election was not stolen by Trump, she was undermining Republican attempts to change the law, making it difficult to vote. Each time she blamed Trump on Jan. 6 for the Jan. 6, Republicans became a little more restless. And every time she referred to the Big Lie, she awkwardly assumed that those who refused to acknowledge Joe Biden’s legitimate victory were not actually telling the truth.
“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,” Cheney tweeted on May 3, which may be the last straw.
On Wednesday afternoon, when Parliamentary Party leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) left a meeting with Biden and other congressional leaders in the White House, he somehow said he did not think anyone was “questioning the legitimacy of the presidential election. “
“That’s it,” McCarthy said.
But obviously not. And while The Daily Beast sought explanations from GOP members as to why Cheney should go, Cheney’s strong election statements seemed to be on top of many people’s minds.
Representative Barry Ludermilk (R-GA) told The Daily Beast that Cheney had thrown CSO lawmakers “under the bus” precisely because he had called on those who were actively questioning the legitimacy of the presidential election.
“If we say we have questions about the 2020 election, then you are somehow an enemy of democracy,” Ludermilk said.
Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH) expressed a number of issues he had with Cheney before the election, but also seemed offended that Cheney would side with Democrats on issues such as impeachment, the winner of the 2020 and January 6 elections.
“The problem is that you can’t have a Republican conference chairman constantly reciting democratic points of conversation,” Jordan said. “You cannot have a Republican chairman of the conference to hold positions that oppose 90% of the party.”
Representative Elise Stefanick (R-NY), the overwhelming favorite to take Cheney’s position now that she has been ousted, told The Daily Beast on Wednesday morning that the GOP conference chairman tasked with helping Republicans should “represent the whole team “
“And I believe she has lost the faith of the conference members,” Stefanik said.
When The Daily Beast asked Stefanic if something Cheney had said was actually inaccurate or should be contradictory, Stefanic revealed his sense of subjective truth.
“What she says is not representative of the views of more than 70 million Americans who voted for President Trump, or the majority of our conference members,” Stefanick said. “It is important to focus on the security of the elections and the integrity of the elections ahead, and that is why you see how the legislatures of the states work.”
It is this key Republican undertaking – to limit voting – that may indeed be the most Machiavellian reason for Cheney’s removal. While Republicans are turning to state legislatures for new rules that would make it harder for people to vote, the last thing they need is a CSO leader calling for their own attempts to limit voting as unnecessary and outright capture.
Republican lawmakers and operatives appear confident that voter integrity issues will be the winner for the 2022 Critical GP, John McLaughlin, who served as Trump’s leading sociologist during the 2016 and 2020 races, said told The Daily Beast on Wednesday that based on his data, he believes voting problems could “help win” Democratic Sensor Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Rafael Warnock (D-GA) and Catherine Cortes Masto (D-NV) will all be re-elected next November.
“Liz disagreed with President Trump’s account, and it was overturned.”
– Representative Ken Buck (R-CO)
McLaughlin called it a “major issue” that motivated “Republicans and Conservatives, but won big among all voters.”
For months, the twice-imputed former president also told Capitol Hill allies and his advisers that “election integrity issues” – as they call them – should be a fundamental principle and litmus test in the upcoming CSO primary. , according to three people familiar with the matter. Earlier this year, Trump even went so far as to say that the candidate’s refusal to acknowledge that Biden had won legally could take his decisions into account when it came time to choose more approvals.
But it’s not just Trump and his allies who see these election issues as a major issue in the Republican Party. The shrinking camp of Cheney’s defenders also saw how her statement of the truth about the 2020 election was the main reason for her removal.
“Liz disagreed with President Trump’s account and it was canceled,” spokesman Ken Buck (R-CO) told reporters on Wednesday. The arch-conservative MP warned that voters will remember in 2022 that Republicans “are reluctant to oppose the narrative that the election was stolen.”
Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), one of Cheney’s most loyal defenders, also told reporters Wednesday morning that what was happening at the GOP conference was “terribly backward.”
“On the first day, you know, when Kevin spent five or eight minutes, you know, supporting Marjorie Taylor Green, and then, you know, 12 seconds, defending Liz at the end, that’s back,” Kinzinger said. “It just shows that it’s all about maintaining power.”
Kinzinger added that nothing Cheney has said so far is “contradictory, you know, in the world of truth” and said Republicans should gain power by being honest and engaging voters “as adults, not as children.” which we have been lately. “
“The reality is that you can’t blame people who think the election was stolen because that’s all they hear from their leaders,” Kinzinger said. “It’s the job of leaders to tell the truth, even if it’s awkward and we don’t.”
A House GOP aide agreed with Cheney was even more emphatic on Wednesday, telling The Daily Beast that the effort to strip Cheney of her position was linked to “Donald Trump and his lies. The point. “
“There is not a single member who claims that the things that Cheney’s representative said were wrong, but it has been removed,” he said. “That speaks more to the state of the conference and its allegiance to Trump’s ridiculous TC than to it.”
A senior GOP aide told The Daily Beast that while downgrading Cheney could help Republicans try to restrict voter access, it was probably not the conscious intention of most members to remove it for that reason. Instead, the aide said, the Republican concern was to talk about the uprising.
“Many members don’t even agree with her views on January 6 – they just don’t want to talk about it in public,” the senior GOP aide said. “This does not unite the conference and does not serve the party’s brokerage message to constantly insert the uprising into the conversation. This is the opposite of messaging discipline. “
Cheney’s continued insistence on pointing out Trump and the GO’s lies seems to have finally crossed the threshold for GP leaders last week, when McCarthy and SR whip Steve Scalis (R-LA) finally said they had had enough with her.
Three months ago, when Cheney faced the first campaign to oust her as chair of the conference, McCarthy was a key reason she maintained her position. The conference voted 2 to 1 to keep her in the lead after her impeachment vote for Trump and her bubbly criticism of his role in inciting the January 6 uprising.
At the time, Republicans from home were largely willing to conform to Cheney’s views. But after that vote, the consensus among members of the House of Representatives changed, and now most agreed that Cheney had become a problem, even if they refused to find out why.
Representative Marjorie Taylor Green (R-GA) – after first refusing to answer a question about when Cheney became a problem for Republicans because the reporter was wearing a mask – then asked the reporter to tell her why Cheney became a problem.
“I’m asking you, you reported on this,” Green said.
Representative Lauren Bobert (R-CO) answered this question, saying that Cheney became a problem “when he expressed his own views as chairman of the conference.”
And spokesman Thomas Massi (R-KY) declined to respond meaningfully, suggesting it was a question.
“When did you stop beating your wife?” Massi replied.
—Reported by Asawin Suebsaeng.