May 13, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Liz Cheney's plan to take on Trump

Liz Cheney speaking to reporters

Cheney speaking to reporters after being removed as GOP conference chair yesterday. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) plans to make her purge the beginning of a new movement, with campaign travel, fundraising and speeches to challenge Donald Trump for ideological dominance of the GOP.

Driving the news: Sources in Cheney's camp tell me her message will be the importance of the truth, the need to move past Trump, and a push to articulate conservative policy and substance to combat Democrats.

  • She'll argue to conservatives: If we’re ever going to be trusted again to uphold the Constitution, and win again politically, we have to be honest.
  • We can't embrace Trump: We know what he’s capable of — and we have to be a party of ideas and vision, not a cult of personality.

Cheney is leaving open the possibility of challenging Trump if he runs again in 2024, although she would be the longest of shots.

  • Some longtime Republicans, including a few in House leadership, fear her "new mission will only prod Mr. Trump to run again in 2024 to prove his hold on the party," the N.Y. Times' Jonathan Martin reports.

Reality check: It'd be difficult for Cheney to mount a credible campaign as an anti-Trump neocon in a populist, quasi-isolationist party with a large evangelical segment of primary voters.

Go deeper: Read Axios' full breakdown of Cheney's ouster

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