Kevin McCarthy, the House Republican leader, officially endorsed a primary challenger to Republican Representative Liz Cheney. McCarthy’s endorsement represents a fairly remarkable move, in that the leader is leaning upon his political weight in order to help remove one of former President Trump’s most vocal critics from the the House of Representatives.
McCarthy’s support of Cheney’s prime challenger, Harriet Hageman, for the at-large seat in Wyoming is bound to delight Trump, who has long desired for the party to rid itself of Cheny and other Republicans that have been mostly critical about his presidency.
Cheney has attracted significant ire from Trump due to serving as the vice chair of the congressional panel presently investigating the events of January 6, 2021.
McCarthy is unilaterally determined to win the House back from the Democrats in the looming 2022 midterm elections, and he views Trump as necessary for achieving that mission, given the former president’s continued dominance over the party.
Moreover, Trump’s endorsement of various candidates who are running in conservative districts remains critical due to his enormous sway over the most faithful members of the Republican Party, who largely dominate the voting process for primary contests.
Despite McCarthy’s endorsement of Hagemen, Cheney remains nonplussed, issuing a crisp statement via her spokesman.
“Wow, she must be really desperate,” spokesman Jeremy Adler chortled.
The decision from McCarthy foreshadows likely chaotic midterm elections that lie in store for the Republican Party, especially since Cheney was previously the No. 3 Republican in the House, as well as a member of McCarthy’s leadership team, until 2021.
However, Cheney diverged sharply from the party after Republicans failed to abandon Trump after the January 6 riot on Capitol Hill, namely when protestors besieged the building in an effort to stop Congress from confirming Joe Biden’s ultimate victory in the 2020 election.
Cheney numbered among ten different House Republicans who voted in favor of impeaching Trump over the events of January 6, in spite of Trump’s repeated denials that he bore responsibility for the event.
Since McCarthy has thrown his support behind Hageman, the fundraising skills of the Republican leader will potentially offer even more advantages than the political clout his name holds. Given Cheney’s national prominence, additional fundraising could help boost Hageman’s campaign to the forefront of public consciousness.