In an interview with “Today,” Cheney, the former House GOP Conference chair, was asked several times about whether she wants to run for president in 2024 to prevent former President Donald Trump from winning the presidency again.
“I’m going do everything that I can—both to make sure that that never happens, but also to make sure that the Republican Party gets back to substance and policy,” Cheney said, adding that she will “absolutely” seek reelection to Wyoming’s lone House seat in 2022. Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, also said that she won’t leave the Republican Party.
House Republicans stripped Cheney of her leadership role in a May 12 voice vote, following her repeated public criticism of Trump and his post-Nov. 3 claims about the election. Around the same time as the vote, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.)—who has been endorsed by Trump and House Republican leaders—said she would vie to replace Cheney.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), in a letter to House Republicans, announced the vote to remove Cheney from her role because members were concerned about her messaging ahead of the midterm elections, suggesting that the Wyoming congresswoman was becoming an increasingly divisive figure within the party.
“It had been my hope that our driving focus would be taking back the House in 2022 and implementing our Commitment to America,” McCarthy said in a letter on May 10 to House Republicans. “Despite the mainstream media working overtime against us, I believe we still have a great chance to do so. Unfortunately, each day spent relitigating the past is one day less we have to seize the future.”
McCarthy, citing concerns from House GOP members, wrote, “We need to make a change.”
And while Cheney asserted that Republicans need to separate themselves from Trump, the former commander-in-chief still enjoys significant support among the GOP voter base, as more than 75 million voted for him in 2020.
While few House Republicans have come to Cheney’s defense in recent days, some Republican senators suggested on May 12 and May 13 that her ouster was unfortunate.
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) told reporters, “I have said that I believe Liz Cheney is an honorable, courageous individual who did what she thinks is right, but it’s up to the House to choose its own leaders, it’s not up to senators.”
Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) told reporters, “I hope that Republicans will continue to be the party that values free speech and doesn’t give in to groupthink.”