GOP House leader steps up pressure on Cheney over Trump beards – fr

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GOP House leader steps up pressure on Cheney over Trump beards – fr


WASHINGTON (AP) – House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy stepped up pressure on Third House Republican Liz Cheney on Tuesday, saying the base was concerned about “her ability to do her job” then that she was exchanging insults with former President Donald Trump.

McCarthy’s comments on the Fox News Channel highlighted the continuing, if not growing, hold of the former president over the House GOP.. They also highlighted an increasingly open split between McCarthy and Cheney.

Rather than stand by Cheney’s side – as he did in a failed effort to oust him in February – McCarthy has essentially planted himself in the camp of his pro-Trump critics. His positioning with his detractors and their increasingly outspoken attacks suggest that his grip on his management work is in renewed danger.

“I’ve heard from members concerned about her ability to carry out her job as conference chair, to get the message out,” said McCarthy, R-Calif. “We all have to work together if we can win the majority. Remember that majorities are not given. They are won. ”

McCarthy’s remarks accompany Republicans optimistic about their chances of regaining control of the House in the 2022 election. The GOP thinks it has a bunch of issues to use against the Democrats and wants to focus there, not on the internal divisions of the party.

But by next year’s election, the GOP must resolve the power struggle between the party’s pro-Trump loyalists and those who believe it has damaged the party and the country by repeatedly claiming – and wrongly – that the presidential election last November was stolen from him.

The fight between Cheney and his critics is a microcosm of that battle. It also puts the GOP in the awkward position of seeking to oust its most senior woman from her post at a time when the party tries to erode Democrats’ decisive advantage among female voters.

Asked about McCarthy’s comments, Cheney spokesman Jeremy Adler said in a written statement: “This is about whether the Republican Party is going to perpetuate lies about the 2020 election and attempt to whitewash what happened on January 6th. Liz won’t. This is the problem. “

Further demonstrating the schism between the two GOP leaders, a senior Republican congressional adviser said McCarthy had urged Cheney weeks ago to stop talking about Trump, and his failure to do so has heightened frustration with him. McCarthy, who gave a supporting speech when House Republicans voted privately to keep her in February, will not do so this time around, said the aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe the conversations internal.

A vote on Cheney’s removal could take place as early as next Wednesday, when House Republicans are due to meet for the next time. The House is not sitting this week.

Potential candidates to replace Cheney include Reps Elise Stefanik of New York and Jackie Walorski of Indiana, the assistant said.

McCarthy was questioned a day after Trump launched a new offensive on his claims. Many state and federal courts and local election officials found no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 vote,

Trump’s critics have called his claims “The Big Lie,” and he issued a statement attempting to claim the nickname himself.

“The fraudulent presidential election of 2020 will, from this day forward, be known as THE BIG LIE!” he wrote.

But Cheney, R-Wyo., Quickly hit back. She was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for her role in instigating the Jan.6 attack by her supporters on the U.S. Capitol, and she used Twitter Monday to respond to Trump.

“The 2020 presidential election was not stolen. Anyone who claims this is the case is spreading THE BIG LIE, turning their backs on the rule of law and poisoning our democratic system, ”she wrote.

In response to Cheney, Trump issued a new statement reiterating his desire to see her defeated by another Republican in next year’s Wyoming GOP primary and claiming that the people of her state “never liked her very much” .

Highlighting the Republican divide, Cheney again slammed Trump at a donor event she attended this weekend with the conservative American Enterprise Institute in Sea Island, Ga., According to a person familiar with the situation and having obtained l anonymity to discuss it.

“We cannot accept the idea that the elections are stolen. It’s poison in the blood of our democracy, ”Cheney said, in comments first reported by CNN. “We cannot whitewash what happened on January 6 or perpetuate Trump’s big lie. It is a threat to democracy. What he did on January 6 was a line that cannot be crossed.

In another illustration of internal GOP tensions, Cheney and McCarthy have not appeared together at Republican House leadership press conferences in weeks.

Republicans believe Democrats will be vulnerable in the face of President Joe Biden’s handling of large numbers of migrants trying to cross the southwest border and failing to push schools and businesses hit by a pandemic to reopen faster.

In February, Tories unhappy with Cheney’s clashes with Trump overwhelmingly lost secret ballot of House Republicans aimed to oust him from his leadership position, 145-61.

But in recent weeks, Cheney’s continued willingness to speak out against Trump has sparked further criticism of him. She is a daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney and, like him, is seen as part of the GOP establishment, making her a natural target for pro-Trump conservatives in the party.

McCarthy told reporters that at the House GOP closed-door meeting in February that allowed Cheney to keep her job, he stood up for her.

“People can have differences of opinion. This is what you can discuss. Liz has the right to vote according to her conscience, ”McCarthy said at the time.

However, McCarthy struck a completely different tone on Tuesday. He said GOP lawmakers are concerned about the party’s message, which is part of Leader No.3’s job.

“What’s our best step forward, that we could all work together instead of attacking each other,” McCarthy said.

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