Aug 17, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Cheney after GOP primary loss: "Now the real work begins"

Rep. Liz Cheney gives a concession speech to supporters during a primary night event on August 16.
Rep. Liz Cheney gives a concession speech to supporters during a primary night event in Jackson, Wyo., on Tuesday. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) gave a defiant concession speech after her Republican primary loss to her Trump-endorsed challenger Harriet Hageman in Wyoming on Tuesday night.

What she's saying: "Two years ago, I won this primary with 73% of the vote. I could easily have done the same again," Cheney said. "But it would have required that I go along with President Trump's lie about the 2020 election. That was a path I could and would not take."

The big picture: The former No. 3 House Republican's role as vice chair of the Jan. 6 select committee investigating the Capitol riot and her outspoken criticism of former President Trump have made her a pariah within her party, per Axios' Alayna Treene.

What we're watching: Cheney has hinted previously she's open to a possible 2024 presidential run — and she gave indications of this again in her concession speech, during which she invoked former President Abraham Lincoln several times.

  • "Abraham Lincoln was defeated in elections for the Senate and House before he won the most important election of all," she said.

The bottom line: "This primary election is over, but now the real work begins," Cheney told supporters.

  • "I have said since Jan. 6 that I will do whatever it takes to ensure Donald Trump is never again anywhere near the Oval Office — and I mean it," she told supporters.

Flashback... Cheney: Protecting U.S. democracy is bigger than keeping House seat

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