Rep. Liz Cheney — a vocal critic of former President Donald Trump — has indicated she will be allowed to leave the GOP, saying: “If [Trump] is the nominee, I will not be a Republican.”
“I will certainly do everything I can to make sure that Donald Trump is not near the Oval Office,” the Wyoming Republican told Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith at the paper’s festival on Saturday.
Cheney also said on Saturday that she would be willing to punch for Democrats, the first time she said so explicitly. The comments were made in response to a question about Wyoming governor candidate Kari Lake, a supporter of Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election was stolen.
“I’m going to do everything I can to make sure Kari Lake doesn’t get elected,” Cheney said, prompting Smith to ask if that meant he might have to campaign for Democrats.
Cheney’s response: “Yeah, that’s right.”
Cheney has served as a representative for Wyoming’s major congressional district since 2017 — but she wasin her August primary against Trump-backed challenger Harriet Hageman.
Cheney is the vice chair of the House committee investigating the January 6, 2021 attack on the United States Capitol, one of only two Republicans on the committee. Cheney is also one of only 10 House Republicans to vote to impeach Trump. Both were positions that seemed to work against her during her reelection campaign.
Only two of the 10 GOP house members who voted to impeach Trump survived their primary challenges, while three others were defeated and four chose to retire or not run for re-election. According to NPR, the majority of candidates Trump approved in the 2022 midterm elections have prevailed and also said they support the former president’s false claims about the 2020 election.
In her concession speech last month, Cheney said: “We need to be very clear about the threat we face and what it takes to defeat it. I’ve said sincethat I will do whatever it takes to ensure that Donald Trump never comes near the Oval Office again, and I mean it.”
Cheney’s tenure ends on January 3, 2023. There has been speculation about a possible presidential bid for Cheney in 2024, but she has somehow not made any final public statements on the matter. When Smith asked Cheney if she intended to announce her candidacy, Cheney declined:
“What are we going to do to make sure our children know what it means to have peaceful transfers of power?” she replied. “And what are we going to do to make sure we don’t contribute to the unraveling of the Republic? … That’s what I’m focusing on.”