By Leo Wolfson, Cowboy State Daily
U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney did not rule out a presidential run in two years during a Sunday interview.
In an interview with ABC News on Sunday, Cheney said she would “make a decision about (2024) down the road.”
“I think about it less in terms of a decision about running for office, and more in terms of, you know, as an American – and as somebody who’s in a position of public trust now, how do I make sure that I’m doing everything I can to do the right thing; to do what I know is right for the country, and, and to protect our Constitution,” she said.
Cheney is seeking election to her fourth term in the U.S. House and she faces four opponents in the Aug. 16 GOP primary for the office.
Among her opponents is Harriet Hageman, a Cheyenne attorney who has won the endorsement of former President Donald Trump.
Support for Trump has been a major issue in the race.
Hageman has backed Trump and offered supportive remarks about his claims the 2020 election was rigged.
Cheney, on the other hand, has spoken against Trump since the 2020 election, has been a vocal critic of his claims the election was rigged and voted for his impeachment on allegations he incited the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol. She is the vice chair of the House committee looking into the facts surrounding the riot.
“I will do everything I can to ensure that the former president never again gets anywhere near the Oval Office,” she told reporters after losing her House leadership position in May 2021.
Whether her role on the committee will motivate voters to support her in a presidential race remains to be seen.
A June ABC News/Ipsos poll showed that a majority of those questioned believe Trump should be charged with a crime for his alleged role in the riot. and are at least somewhat following the Jan. 6 hearings.
In her interview Sunday, Cheney said the committee could make multiple criminal referrals, including of Trump.
“We’ll make a decision as a committee about it,” she said. “The Justice Department doesn’t have to wait for the committee to make a criminal referral, and there could be more than one criminal referral.”
If Cheney enters the 2024 presidential race, there is speculation she would face Trump in the primary. She said Republican Party “can’t survive” if Trump is the chosen nominee in 2024.
But polls indicate Republican voters don’t agree.
For the last year, Trump has been the top GOP candidate in polls regarding the 2024 election. In a poll released Friday by Emerson College, Trump led the GOP primary field, with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is regularly touted as a top alternative, trailing the former president by well over 30 points.
This poll included 1,271 registered voters and a margin of error of plus or minus 2.7% points. Those surveyed also supported Trump in a potential rematch against President Joe Biden.
A Morning Consult survey released June 26 found that only 1% of Republicans would back Cheney in the primary. Other polls have shown her support to be in the single digits.
On Monday morning, Trump lashed out against Cheney on Truth Social in response to her ABC interview.
“Warmongering and despicable human being Liz Cheney, who is hated by the great people of Wyoming (down 35!), keeps saying, over and over that HER Fake Unselect Committee may recommend CRIMINAL CHARGES against a President of the United States who got more votes than any sitting President in history,” Trump said.
The “down 35” comment is a reference to polls commissioned by groups supporting Hageman that showed among those questioned, she held a lead of 30% to 35% in her race against Cheney.
Typically, major presidential candidates start declaring their candidacy about six months to one year before the primary elections start. If Cheney were to follow this timeline in a theoretical presidential run, she might declare her candidacy in less than one year from now.
For now, Cheney said she is focusing on winning the upcoming primary and the committee studying the U.S. Capitol riot.
“Those of us who believe in Republican principles and ideals have a responsibility to try to lead the party back to what it can be,” she said.