House GOP leader amps up pressure on Cheney over Trump barbs

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., Thursday, April 15, 2021, pauses while answering a question during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., Thursday, April 15, 2021, pauses while answering a question during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. | AP

Rather than standing by Liz Cheney — as he did during a failed effort to oust her in February — House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy essentially planted himself in the camp of her critics

WASHINGTON — House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy stepped up the pressure on No. 3 House Republican Liz Cheney on Tuesday, claiming rank-and-file concerns about “her ability to carry out her job” as she trades insults with former President Donald Trump.

McCarthy’s comments on the Fox News Channel underscored the continued, if not growing, grip that the former president has on the House GOP.

Rather than standing by Cheney — as he did during a failed effort to oust her in February — McCarthy essentially planted himself in the camp of her critics. His positioning with her detractors and their increasingly outspoken attacks suggest her hold on her leadership job is in renewed peril.

“I have heard from members concerned about her ability to carry out her job as conference chair, to carry out the message,” said McCarthy, R-Calif. “We all need to be working as one if we’re able to win the majority. Remember, majorities are not given. They are earned.”

McCarthy’s remarks come with Republicans optimistic about their chances of winning back control of the House in the 2022 elections. The GOP believes it has a trove of issues to use against Democrats and wants the focus there, not on internal party rifts.

But between now and next year’s elections, the GOP must resolve the power struggle between the party’s pro-Trump loyalists and those who believe he has damaged the party and country by repeatedly — and falsely — claiming that last November’s presidential election was stolen from him.

The fight between Cheney and her critics stands as a microcosm of that battle. It also puts the GOP in the awkward position of seeking to oust its highest-ranking woman from her post at a time when the party is trying to erode Democrats’ decisive advantage among female voters.

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McCarthy was interviewed a day after Trump mounted a fresh offensive on his assertions. Numerous state and federal courts and local election officials have unearthed no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 voting,

Trump critics have labeled his claims “The Big Lie,” and he issued a statement trying to claim that moniker himself.

“The Fraudulent Presidential Election of 2020 will be, from this day forth, known as THE BIG LIE!” he wrote.

But Cheney, R-Wyo., quickly fired back. She was among 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for his role in encouraging the Jan. 6 attack by his supporters on the U.S. Capitol, and she used Twitter on Monday to respond to Trump.

“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,” she wrote.

In response …read more

Source:: Chicago Sun Times

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