House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., is not campaigning to keep her position despite a looming potential vote to replace her, according to Politico.
Cheney, who has continued to refute former President Donald Trump’s claims of election fraud, reportedly has told some people she would rather step down than renounce her beliefs or stay quiet to keep her leadership post, a source told Politico.
Other sources within the Republican Party say Cheney has not been making calls or conducting other behind-the-scenes campaigning needed to retain support and survive another vote. House Republicans voted 145-61 to keep her in the position in a secret ballot in February.
Although that vote appeared to end the effort to oust Cheney, tensions between the congresswoman and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., reportedly reached a boiling point last week, when members of the House GOP went on a retreat in Florida.
Cheney publicly broke with McCarthy’s messaging on whether members of Congress who voted against certifying the election results should be disqualified from seeking the White House, and whether the party should take part in a bipartisan commission to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.
McCarthy told Fox News on Tuesday: "I have heard from members concerned about her ability to carry out the job as conference chair, to carry out the message. We all need to be working as one if we're able to win the majority. Remember, majorities are not given, they are earned. And that's about the message about going forward."
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., has thrown his support behind Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., who also is Trump's preferred candidate.
A spokesperson for Scalise told Politico that "House Republicans need to be solely focused on taking back the House in 2022 and fighting against Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi and President Biden’s radical socialist agenda, and Elise Stefanik is strongly committed to doing that, which is why Whip Scalise has pledged to support her for Conference Chair."
Despite the threat of losing her position, Cheney continued to speak her mind this week, tweeting Monday that "The 2020 presidential election was not stolen. Anyone who claims it was is spreading THE BIG LIE, turning their back on the rule of law, and poisoning our democratic system."
During a closed-door conference in Georgia, Cheney added that Trump’s claims of election fraud are "a poison in the bloodstream of our democracy" adding, "we can’t whitewash what happened" during the assault on the Capitol.
One Republican told Politico that it appeared Cheney was looking for an "exit strategy." Another GOP member said, "It's like she's trying to be an agitator. It's like she's trying to stoke the fire to precipitate her own downfall."
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