By Leo Wolfson, political reporter
U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney won’t rule out running for President in 2024 and if she does so, she may run as something other than a Republican.
In an interview on ABC “This Week” on Sunday, Cheney said she wouldn’t speculate about the possibility of running as an Independent or with another party in that election.
“I haven’t made any specific decisions or plans about that at this point,” she said.
Her lack of commitment to sticking with the Republican Party could be significant.
An idea has been floated within Republican National Committee circles that to be admitted into a Republican debate a candidate must pledge to support the Party’s eventual nominee for President.
This would likely be an issue for Cheney, who has expressed opposition to former President Donald Trump and other people considered as potential candidates for 2024 such as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
“DeSantis is somebody who is, right now, campaigning for election deniers,” Cheney said. “And I think that is something that I think people have got to have real pause about. You know, either you fundamentally believe in and will support our constitutional structure, or you don’t.”
Cheney said it “would be very difficult” to support other potential Republican candidates for President like Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Josh Hawley, R-Mo., who have supported Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
“If you look at somebody like Josh Hawley or somebody like Ted Cruz, both of whom know better, both of whom know exactly what the role of Congress is, in terms of our constitutional obligations with respect to presidential elections,” Cheney said. “And yet, both of whom took steps that fundamentally threatened the constitutional order and structure in the aftermath of the last election. So, you know, in my view, they both have made themselves unfit for future office.”
Former Vice President candidate Joe Lieberman followed a somewhat similar trajectory to Cheney, as he, a Democrat, spoke out against former President Barack Obama when he was running for office in 2008 and backed his Republican opponent, the late John McCain.
Cheney’s recent loss to Harriet Hageman in the Republican primary, means Cheney’s time as Wyoming’s lone Congressional representative ends in January.
There has been much speculation about the possibility of Cheney running for president, which she has repeatedly not ruled out in multiple times over the last few months. In an interview on the NBC Today show last Wednesday, Cheney said she would decide about running for president “in the coming months.”
On Sunday, Cheney said a person does not run for president to send a message, but rather, because they believe themselves to be the best candidate.
“Because you believe you’d be the best president of the United States,” Cheney said. “And so, any decision that I make about doing something that significant and that serious would be with the intention of winning and because I think I would be the best candidate.”
Cheney described the state and national Republican Party as “very sick” during the interview because of the prominent stature Trump continues to hold within it.
“We really have got to decide whether or not we’re going to be a party based on substance and policy or whether we’re going to remain, as so many of our party are today, in the grips of a dangerous former president,” she said.
Cheney has repeatedly said speaking out against Trump for her is a matter of defending the Constitution. She said in her interview on Wednesday, she would have won the primary election if she didn’t speak out against Trump. Cheney won all three of her prior elections by a hefty amount, running on a very conservative platform.
She also said she heard from President Joe Biden after her election loss.
“We had a very good talk, a talk about the importance of putting the country ahead of partisanship,” she said.