Rep. Liz Cheney said in an interview with Punchbowl News Thursday that she will stand behind her vote to impeach former President Trump “every day of the week” as she faces multiple primary challengers in her 2022 reelection effort.
Cheney, R-Wyo., is the chair of the House Republican conference and has taken heat from many on the right over her vocal condemnation of Trump after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol by a mob of his followers.
That has spurred Trump’s wrath in multiple forums and triggered a handful of Republicans to announce primary challenges to her — Trump said in a statement earlier this month he will endorse one of them soon.
But Cheney told Puncbbowl News that she has no plans to back away from her stance that impeaching Trump was the right thing to do.
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“I’m confident I’m gonna win. It’s gonna be, certainly, a challenging primary. I’m preparing for that right now. We’ve got multiple opponents,” Cheney told the publication on a podcast that will be released in full later Thursday.
“I’m gonna fight hard and I’m not gonna take it for granted,” she continued. “But I also think there are some pretty big constitutional issues at stake, and I think those are really important. So anybody who wants to get in that race and who wants to do it on the basis of debating me about whether or not President Trump should have been impeached, I’ll have that debate every day of the week.”
The third-ranking Republican in the House of Representatives also said in a separate press call Wednesday that speculation she might not run for reelection is “wishful thinking.” She said she is “absolutely dedicated” to “earning the votes of the people of Wyoming.”
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Cheney was one of several Republicans who saw a fundraising windfall in the first quarter of 2021 after taking a high-profile stance either for or against Trump.
She brought in $1.54 million, according to the Wyoming Tribune Eagle, more than four times as much as her closest competitor, state Sen. Anthony Bouchard.
Cheney survived a vote earlier this year by House Republicans to remove her as their conference chair with the backing of a speech from Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. But the Trump issue has continued to bubble up on occasion, including during a GOP policy retreat in Florida this week, highlighting the divide in the party.
McCarthy seemed to issue some veiled criticism of Cheney in an interview with Politico, saying, “There’s a responsibility, if you’re gonna be in leadership, leaders eat last… And when leaders try to go out, and not work as one team, it creates difficulties.”
Cheney on Wednesday night was one of a handful of Republicans to fist-bump President Biden as he walked into the House chamber to deliver his address to a joint session of Congress. She was also seen having what appeared to be a lengthy conversation with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., another Republican who distanced himself from Trump after the Jan. 6 attack.
Despite the fist bump, Cheney blasted Biden over his speech. “The policies he endorsed were not standard liberal ideas, but reflected the fact that the far-left is now in control of the Democratic Party and they are committed to forcing through their plans to empower the federal government at the expense of the American people,” she said
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Cheney’s interview with Punchbowl Thursday also touched on other issues, including China.
“Look, the fundamental question is ‘Do you want to live in a world, and do you want your kids to grow up in a world, where the United States sets the rules of the road basically with our allies who believe in freedom, or do you want to live in a world that’s controlled by a global surveillance state?'” Cheney said.
She continued: “Where you know the Chinese Communist Party knows your every move, they’ve got all of your data, they know what illnesses you have, they know everything about you, know what you’re doing online, they potentially have cameras in everybody’s homes… this is the path we’re headed down.”