Despite apparently risking her spot in House GOP leadership, Rep Liz Cheney is not holding back in her criticism of former President Trump. Outlets on the Left lauded her while right-leaning media generally sided with Trump.
House Republican Conference Chair and Congresswoman Liz Cheney, the number 3 Republican in the House, has continued to draw the ire of former president Donald Trump months after her vote to impeach him following the Jan. 6thattack on the Capitol.
- Responding to Trump’s claim Cheney may retire to avoid a loss to a pro-Trump challenger, Cheney called it “wishful thinking.”
- Last week, the infighting within House GOP leadership went public, with House GOP Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Whip Steve Scalise criticized Cheney in front of reporters without specifically naming her.
- The spat intensified Monday when Cheney took to Twitter criticizing Trump using language typically reserved for the left, saying anyone touting “the big lie” (claims the 2020 election was fraudulent) was bad for democracy.
- Cheney’s continued antagonism of the former president is likely to cost her the leadership post she was elected to by colleagues, as The Hill reports members of the Republican conference beyond just the ultra-conservative and pro-Trump Freedom Caucus are lining up behind the effort to oust her.
- Waiting in the wings is Jim Banks, and Indiana congressman who also chairs the Republican Study Committee which has been running what Politico describes as a competing political operation rivaling the GOP Conference and Cheney’s media outreach.
- In reporting the acrimony, Slate highlights that Cheney has been more vocal in her antagonism of Trump since a winning February vote of no confidence among her GOP colleagues, and noting “the tide is turning against” her, signaling she’ll likely continue to serve in the House despite losing her leadership position.
- Like Slate, CNN framed their reporting by surreptitiously painted Cheney as a hero standing up to Trump and her Trump-allied colleagues in the House, focusing on her remarks accusing Trump of being responsible for the Jan. 6th attack on the Capitol.
- NBC News viewed the story from a much different angle, highlighting how the fight between Cheney and Trump has frustrated the efforts of Minority Leader McCarthy to focus exclusively on Biden, Pelosi, and taking back the House in 2022 (Author’s Take – If you’re in minority leadership, retaking the majority should be the only thing you’re discussing publicly).
- Newsmax, reporting there may be another vote on ousting Cheney by the end of the month, emphasized reactions to and criticisms of Cheney’s proclamation that she’d “campaign on impeaching Trump every day of the week.”
- Townhall.com framed the Cheney saga into what became a wrap-up of “RINOs in the news”, covering Sen. Mitt Romney being booed at the Utah GOP Convention, Sen. Susan Collins being “appalled” by it, and Cheney’s antagonism towards Rep. Banks’ efforts to keep Trump voters in the GOP column.
- Fox News also sided with Trump and played up the risk to Cheney’s leadership post, quoting one of her colleagues as saying “When you have only so much time, she wants to talk about Trump, not the people who are running the country into the ground.”
- Breitbart noted the efforts by those to oust Cheney to find another woman to replace her, acknowledging the beating Republicans would take by the woke left if an “all-male leadership” is front and center in the efforts to retake the House.
If you’re serving in the minority leadership, regardless of party affiliation, retaking the majority should be the only topic you’re discussing publicly. But talk of “party unity” and fractures among political coalitions are nothing new or extraordinary. News outlets will play them up for both commercial and ideological reasons. The right will celebrate cleavages between Democratic House leadership and the squad if it fits an agenda, and the left will gleefully hail anyone criticizing former President Trump if it means politically damaging Republicans.
© Dallas Gerber, 2021