By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney still believes in the conservative values of the Republican Party and wants to continue to fight for them, she told Wyoming reporters on Thursday morning.
“I don’t think [the party] is irrevocably broken, because this is a party with an unbelievable history, the one of Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan,” she said during a news conference. “I think we have a responsibility to fight for and rebuild that party. The country needs a Republican Party.”
Cheney’s comments came just 24 hours after House Republicans voted to remove her from her No. 3 position in Republican leadership as the party’s House Conference chair. The vote was taken in response to her ongoing skirmish with former President Donald Trump over his allegations of election fraud during last year’s general election.
Cheney told reporters the Republican Party shouldn’t be hijacked by a cult of personality, referring to Trump and his most fervent supporters. Some of those supporters have called Cheney a traitor for her vote in January to impeach Trump, but she noted prior to the impeachment vote, she had voted with him around 93% of the time.
“There are millions and millions of Republicans who are very worried about the direction the party is going and don’t want the party to be dragged backward by a former president,” she said. “Some of them are not as public as others, but it’s our duty to stand up for these things.”
In the case of the riot at the Capitol that led to five deaths, Cheney said Trump crossed a line that should never be crossed, not only by the comments he made immediately prior to the storming of the Capitol, but also in his refusal to call for help. Former Vice President Mike Pence was ultimately the one to call in the National Guard, hours after the attack began.
“I think people have been betrayed by the former president,” Cheney said Thursday. “He is perpetuating lies and saying things that are fundamentally not true. Those of us who swear an oath to the Constitution have a duty to uphold that oath.”
Cheney is expected to be replaced as House Republican Conference chair by U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York, although no timeline has been officially set.
Trump celebrated Cheney’s removal from her position on Wednesday.
“I watched her yesterday and realized how bad she is for the Republican Party,” Trump said. “She has no personality or anything good having to do with politics or our Country. She is a talking point for Democrats, whether that means the Border, the gas lines, inflation, or destroying our economy. She is a warmonger whose family stupidly pushed us into the never-ending Middle East Disaster, draining our wealth and depleting our Great Military, the worst decision in our Country’s history.”