Former Wyoming congresswoman Liz Cheney is pleased that former U.S.House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-California, was removed from his position Tuesday, the first in America’s history.
"Kevin McCarthy is absolutely unfit to be speaker," Cheney told a packed crowd of nearly 3,000 people at the University of Minnesota on Wednesday night, according to the Star Tribune, a Minneapolis newspaper.
Cheney’s relationship with McCarthy soured when he refused to move away from supporting former President Donald Trump following the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol riot. McCarthy also played an integral role in removing Cheney from her Republican leadership positions in spring 2021.
"Kevin McCarthy at every moment over the course of the last two years has done more to enable and collaborate with and apologize for Donald Trump," Cheney said.
She also criticized McCarthy for leaking Jan. 6 tapes to TV host Tucker Carlson. Cheney was the vice-chair of the U.S. House Select Committee on the Jan. 6 Attack.
Cheney also condemned the newly launched speaker bid of Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, a staunch Trump supporter. She doesn’t think Jordan’s likely to win, but in the event that he does, she offered a dire warning.
"If they were to decide that, there would no longer be any possible way to argue that a group of elected Republicans could be counted on to defend the Constitution," Cheney said.
Jordan spoke in a pre-recorded message played before a rally held for U.S. Rep. Harriet Hageman and hosted by Trump in Casper in 2022. The two also sit on the House Judiciary Committee together, a panel both have used to target President Joe Biden on what they see as a weaponization of the federal government.
On Thursday afternoon, Hageman endorsed Jordan’s bid for speaker.
“Jim Jordan is the definition of a solid conservative and a truly effective leader, and I am proud to publicly express my strong support for him to become the next Speaker of the House,” Hageman said in a Thursday press release. “He is a friend and true ally of our America First agenda.
“Jim was one of the first members of Congress to provide counsel and guidance to our campaign to take back Wyoming’s lone congressional seat. He didn’t blink, he didn’t flinch, he was in from the get-go.”
Hageman opposed McCarthy’s removal and voted to block the motion to vacate his seat multiple times Tuesday.
There were some rumblings earlier this week that Cheney could be chosen as a compromise candidate for speaker since the person holding this position doesn’t have to be a member of the House, but little has come of those early rumors.
Cheney said temporary speaker, Republican Rep. Patrick McHenry of North Carolina, would be a great fit for the speaker’s seat moving forward,but McHenry has already said that he has no interest in taking up the role permanently.
Doesn’t Rule Out 2024 Run
When asked about a potential presidential run of her own, Cheney said she wasn’t sure, which drew a loud applause from the crowd. She said that if Trump earns the Republican nomination for president, she will strongly consider it.
A lawsuit has been filed in Minnesota and other states that attempts to bar Trump from appearing on the ballot because of his actions on Jan. 6, a topic which Cheney said she didn’t want to comment on. Cheney did say she thinks criminal referrals could bar someone from running for president.
Other topics Cheney discussed included her criticism of Trump, the importance of listening to people with other political beliefs and Jan. 6. Her presence in the Democratic-leaning state of Minnesota came as part of the university's Distinguished Carlson Lecture series.
Cheney also spoke at the University of Montana in September and will speak at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire next week.
Leo Wolfson can be reached at Leo@CowboyStateDaily.com.