By Leo Wolfson, State Political Reporter
U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney has endorsed another Democrat in a pivotal congressional race Tuesday, this time endorsing Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Tim Ryan of Ohio.
Cheney said during an appearance in Cleveland that she would prefer to vote for Ryan over J.D. Vance, a Republican endorsed by former President Donald Trump.
“I would not vote for J.D. Vance,” Cheney said, which was met with an applause from the Cleveland State University audience.
When asked by host and PBS News anchor Judy Woodruff if she was an Ohio resident would she vote for Tim Ryan, Cheney replied, “I would.”
Her Second Dem Endorsement
Although Cheney endorsed Democratic Michigan congresswoman Elissa Slotkin last week, her endorsement of Ryan is likely more significant because of Ryan’s position in the U.S. Senate. Also, his race with Vance has been one of the most watched in the country, with Vance holding a narrow lead in most polls.
Ryan is a fifth-term congressman seeking to make a jump to the Senate to try and replace retiring Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, a Republican.
Vance has expressed skepticism about the results of the 2020 presidential election and the influence of the technology industry on American elections, which he said led to massive fraud in that election.
Cheney has repeatedly said she doesn’t support 2020 election deniers.
“Given the moment we’re in, we can’t give power to people who said they won’t respect the outcome of elections,” Cheney said.
The third-term congresswoman has also campaigned against Kari Lake, a Republican gubernatorial candidate in Arizona who said she will only accept the outcome of her election if she agrees with it.
“That’s more important than any party belief, that’s more important than any policy,” Cheney said about her philosophy of who she supports politically.
A GOP Pariah
Cheney has gained national attention in recent months for her role as vice chair of the United States House Select Committee on the Jan. 6 Attack.
In May 2021, Ryan angrily chastised Senate Republicans for resisting a Jan. 6 commission to investigate the attack.
According to Cleveland.com, Vance has criticized the Jan. 6 Committee while condemning the Jan. 6 uprising itself. At other times, Vance has downplayed the significance of the Capitol riot and referred to some of the people facing charges in connection to the riot as “political prisoners,” using his campaign’s social media accounts to raise money for their legal defense.
“This election will be decided by Ohioans, not creatures of the swamp in D.C. Liz Cheney’s endorsement is the kiss of death for Tim Ryan and will lose him far more votes than it gains,” a Vance spokesperson told Cleveland.com.
Andy Surabian, a GOP political operative who ran a super political action committee backing the campaign of Harriet Hageman, Cheney’s Wyoming Republican primary opponent, and a top Vance political adviser suggested on Twitter that Cheney’s endorsement would actually hurt Ryan.
“I think my favorite thing about this is Liz Cheney being so delusional that she actually thinks her endorsement is a net positive for anyone,” Surabian wrote.
Cheney said she will “possibly” support more Democrats before Nov. 8. When asked about a potential run for president in 2024, Cheney said she is still considering it.
Cheney also spoke on the attack on Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s husband last week. Prominent members of the Republican Party, including Donald Trump Jr., mocked the assault.
She accused Republicans of “demonizing” Pelosi and Democrats of doing the same to her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney.
“It has to stop,” she said. “When you see what’s happening in our country, when you watch to the extent that political violence or violence has become a part of our political discourse, that’s a road we just can’t go down.”
Cheney said every American has a responsibility to make sure activity like this ceases to happen.
She also expressed skepticism that Trump will testify before the Jan. 6 Committee.
“I think he has a legal responsibility to testify, but that doesn’t always carry weight with Donald Trump,” she said.
Cheney said although she doesn’t agree with most of the policies of President Joe Biden, political debates altogether will be stifled if the country elects Trump again.
“We don’t get to have that debate if we elect election deniers who embrace what the former president is doing and saying now, and what we know now that he was willing to do, and what we know that he did,” she said.
Cheney also endorsed Republican Gov. Mike DeWine of Ohio on Tuesday.
“Liz is supporting him because he’s a good conservative governor, a traditional Republican and respects the legitimacy of elections,” said Jeremy Adler, a Cheney spokesperson.