Updated Aug 21, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Liz Cheney vows to unseat Republicans who support Trump's "big lie"

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) intends to use her new political organization to combat the campaigns of Republicans who support former President Trump and his unfounded claims around the 2020 election, Cheney told ABC's "This Week" in an interview that aired Sunday.

Driving the news: Cheney on Wednesday established a new leadership PAC titled The Great Task, the Washington Post reported.

The big picture: Cheney said she has "no regrets" about the fact that her opposition to Trump and his claims around the election led to the loss of her House seat.

  • "To me, there's just never been any question about what was the right way to operate here and the right thing to do," Cheney said.
  • Her defeat, she said, illustrates that people continue to believe Trump's lies around the election, calling it "very dangerous."
  • "I think it also tells you that large portions of our party, including the leadership of our party, both at a state level in Wyoming as well as on a national level with the RNC, is very sick."

What they're saying: "We really have got to decide whether or not we're going to be a party based on substance and policy or whether we're going to remain, as so many of our party are today, in the grips of a dangerous former president," Cheney said.

  • Cheney said her new political organization will be working to ensure that "election deniers" are not elected to Congress and will be working to support those candidates' opponents.
  • Cheney said that she doesn't believe that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) should be the next speaker of the House, noting that McCarthy had been "completely unfaithful to the Constitution."
  • "Donald Trump is certainly the center of the threat, but election denial, denying the fundamental function and principle, at the center of our constitutional republic, is dangerous broadly speaking. And he is certainly leading that effort and leading that movement."

Asked by host Jonathan Karl whether, if Trump is not the Republican candidate in 2024 but rather someone closely associated with him — such as Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), or Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) — Cheney said it would be "very difficult" to support any of them.

  • "A fundamental question for me in terms of whether or not someone is fit to be president is whether they've abided by their constitutional obligations in the past," Cheney said.
  • Cheney added that both Hawley and Cruz knew "exactly what the role of Congress is in terms of our constitutional obligations with respect to presidential elections" but that both men "took steps that fundamentally threatened the constitutional order and structure" after the 2020 election.
  • "They both have made themselves unfit for future office," Cheney added.
  • "DeSantis is somebody who is, right now, campaigning for election deniers," she said, adding, "That is something that I think people have got to have real pause about. You know, either you fundamentally believe in and will support our constitutional structure, or you don't."

The other side: "Sen. Cruz doesn't need or want soon-to-be-former Rep. Liz Cheney's endorsement, and he wishes her the best of luck in the 2024 Democrat presidential primary," a spokesperson Cruz told Axios.

  • "We wish her the best," a spokesperson from Hawley's office told Axios.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional details.

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