Rep. Liz Cheney hasn’t exactly been booted from her House Republican leadership position as conference chairman but she’s certainly being handed her hat and shown the door. Cheney’s fate was all but sealed when the number two ranking House Republican, Rep. Steve Scalise, came out for New Yorker Elise Stefanik to replace her.
“House Republicans need to be solely focused on taking back the House in 2022 and fighting against Speaker Pelosi and President Biden’s radical socialist agenda, and Elise Stefanik is strongly committed to doing that, which is why Whip Scalise has pledged to support her for conference chair,” Scalise spokesperson Lauren Fine told Fox News.
Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy accidentally on purpose saw to it that an audio clip — a so-called, “hot mic” moment — made it to Axios, an opposition website.
“I’ve had it with … I’ve had it with her. You know, I’ve lost confidence. … Well, someone just has to bring a motion, but I assume that will probably take place,” McCarthy said in a tape of the conversation, which was obtained by Axios on Tuesday.
All it will take to end Cheney’s leadership is is a slight push off the plank. Enter Donald Trump.
Trump endorses Elise Stefanik to replace Liz Cheney as House Republican conference chair pic.twitter.com/b04zTU2gpY
— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) May 5, 2021
“Liz Cheney is a warmongering fool who has no business in Republican Party Leadership,” Trump said in a statement. “We want leaders who believe in the Make America Great Again movement, and prioritize the values of America First. Elise Stefanik is a far superior choice, and she has my COMPLETE and TOTAL Endorsement for GOP Conference Chair. Elise is a tough and smart communicator!”
As NRO points out, if Trump wants a leader who will support him, Stefanik is a poor choice.
However, according to FiveThirtyEight, Cheney voted in line with Trump’s position during his tenure more often than Stefanik did. While Stefanik voted with Trump 77.7 percent of the time, Cheney did so 92.9 percent of the time. In 2019, Stefanik was one of just eight Republicans to support the Equality Act, sweeping legislation that would add sexual orientation and transgender status as protected classes under the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
Well…Trump never did sweat the details.
Meanwhile, Stefanik was obviously grateful.
Thank you President Trump for your 100% support for House GOP Conference Chair. We are unified and focused on FIRING PELOSI & WINNING in 2022!
— Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) May 5, 2021
As for Cheney, she doesn’t appear to want to fight for her job. It may be just a craven surrender. Or it could be that she’s trying to give the appearance of falling on her sword to set herself up as the anti-Trump candidate to beat in the 2024 primaries.
Some House Republicans have mused that Cheney sees the writing on the wall, so she is choosing to be pushed out in a martyr-like fashion, rather than staying silent and fading away. One Republican said it looked like Cheney was trying to find an “exit strategy.”
“It’s like she’s trying to be an agitator,” another GOP member added. “It’s like she’s trying to stoke the fire to precipitate her own downfall.”
With no future in the House — at least as a Republican — and a brutally tough primary to get by next year, Cheney may choose now to exit while it appears she’s going of her own accord. The truth is, everyone is angry with her and she would be humiliated if she stayed.