Former Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) on Monday minced no words with her reaction to ousted House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) wholehearted endorsement of Donald Trump for president as reported by HuffPost on Tuesday, December 12, 2023.
McCarthy, who is retiring from Congress at the end of December, at the weekend told CBS’ Robert Costa that he’d back Republican front-runner Trump in the 2024 election and would also be willing to serve in a potential Trump cabinet.
“I can’t explain it,” Cheney told MSNBC’s Jen Psaki of McCarthy’s continued support of the twice-impeached, four-times-indicted former reality TV personality.
Cheney summed up McCarthy’s backing of Trump with two words: “Pathetic” and “sad.”
“There’s sort of an element of it doesn’t really matter what Donald Trump has done to the country, what Donald Trump has done to the Congress, Donald Trump has done to Kevin McCarthy,” she said.
It’s “just kind of going back for more,” Cheney continued, suggesting history will show McCarthy’s “unwillingness to do the right thing and each time that decision came, did real damage.”
McCarthy initially blamed Trump for the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol, saying during a speech that the then-president “bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters.”
But he soon changed his tune, voting against impeaching Trump for inciting the insurrection and visiting him at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.
Since then, McCarthy has been one of Trump’s most loyal allies, defending his baseless claims of election fraud, opposing the creation of a bipartisan commission to investigate the Capitol riot, and ousting Cheney from her leadership role for refusing to embrace Trump’s lies.
Cheney, who was one of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump, has been vocal in her criticism of the former president and his enablers, calling them a “threat to democracy.”
She has also announced her intention to run for president in 2024, challenging Trump and his supporters.
Cheney said she was not surprised by McCarthy’s endorsement of Trump, but she was disappointed by his lack of courage and principle.
“He knows better. He knows what happened on January 6th. He knows what Donald Trump did. He knows what Donald Trump is,” she said.
She added that McCarthy’s decision to align himself with Trump was not only bad for the Republican Party, but also for the country.
“He’s putting his own personal ambition above the Constitution, above the rule of law, above the security of the nation,” she said.
Cheney said she hoped that more Republicans would join her in standing up to Trump and his lies, and restoring the party’s values and integrity.
She said she was confident that the American people would reject Trump and his cronies in the next election, and choose a leader who would uphold the Constitution and defend the nation.
“I think the American people are smarter than that. I think they see through the charade. I think they see through the danger,” she said.
She concluded by saying that she was not afraid of Trump or his attacks, and that she would continue to speak the truth and fight for the future of the country.
“I’m not going to be intimidated by him. I’m not going to be silenced by him. I’m going to do what’s right for the American people,” she said.