Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, after his state faced the ire of former President Donald Trump and Republicans after President Joe Biden's win there, Wednesday stood behind embattled Rep. Liz Cheney and said that like her, he believes in "telling the truth" about the November election.
"I think real leadership is about telling the truth," Duncan, also a Republican, said on CNN's "New Day." "Any Republican talking out of the front of their lips or the sides of their lips about fraud issues that have been debunked, it only shows that you're able to take commands from Donald Trump."
Duncan added that in the long term he does think Republicans will come back and follow the "honest leaders" like Cheney.
Cheney, R-Wyo., who chairs the House Republican Conference, has come under fire for trying to steer the party away from Trump's claims about the 2020 election. Other Republicans are also pushing for her to be removed from her leadership role for leading a group of 10 House Republicans to vote to impeach Trump on a charge of incitement of insurrection over the Jan. 6 violence in the Capitol.
Duncan said Wednesday he doesn't know what Cheney's fate will be, but said it's "hard to watch" what is happening.
"I'm a sucker for good leadership, and at the end of the day, it doesn't feel like that's what we're seeing playing out across our party," said Duncan. "We're watching folks try to relitigate and waste energy ... it's still hard for me to believe that Republicans can fan the flames on stuff that's been debunked a million times, all in the pursuit to try to keep one person down in Florida happy. It doesn't make sense."
He also stressed that his party is less than four years away from trying to win the White House, but that will take "time and real leadership."
"I believe an overwhelming number of Americans are going to wake up and try to vote for an adult who can lead the world," said Duncan. "They're going to want someone who has honesty and courage."
Duncan added that he thinks there will be more skirmishes playing out in Congress, like in his state, but he does think the party will eventually "head in a better direction."
"I think folks will come back and follow leaders with great visions and talk about real issues," he said. "I believe at the end of the day, overall, Americans want to talk about real issues. We're still in the throes of the pandemic. This should be the sweet spot to show the contrast between President Biden's direction and the direction we think conservative leadership should (take)."
At the end of the day, Duncan said, "Republicans are best at controlling the economy and national security. Those should be the center points we champion in every conversation we have, not this continued chaos we watch play out in small little circles."
Meanwhile, Duncan said he's finding a "lot of encouragement" from Cheney's stance, as she is "not buckling."
"She's going to continue to fight for the truth," said Duncan. "This is the most lopsided battle in the history of politics in the country. One hundred percent of the facts line up there was no fraud. Zero percent of the facts line up there was fraud. I hope we start taking our medicine quicker than we are now."
He said he does feel that the continued conversations about the 2020 election after this amount of time is "troubling for the Republican Party," but he thinks the party will move past it.
"It may be one of those moments in time where we take two steps backward before we take three steps forward, but I tell you there's going to be a time," said Duncan. "There's a shelf life, and I hope it arrives sooner than later."
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