Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) is centering her closing argument ahead of her tough primary race next week on criticism of former President Trump and false claims of fraud in the 2020 election.
“America cannot remain free if we abandon the truth. The lie that the 2020 presidential election was stolen is insidious. It preys on those who love their country,” Cheney opens in a campaign video released Thursday. “It is a door Donald Trump opened to manipulate Americans to abandon their principles, to sacrifice their freedom, to justify violence, to ignore the rulings of our courts and the rule of law.”
“This is Donald Trump’s legacy, but it cannot be the future of our nation. History has shown us over and over again how these types of poisonous lies destroy free nations,” Cheney adds.
It is the same message and focus that led to a wave of backlash against Cheney from Republicans since the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack.
House Republicans removed Cheney from her No. 3 conference leadership position last year. She became the face of the anti-Trump Republicans with her vice chair position on the House Jan. 6 select committee, despite House Republican leadership boycotting the panel. The Republican National Committee formally censured Cheney in February.
Cheney faces long odds of prevailing in the Aug. 16 primary in Wyoming, a state Trump won the state by more than 40 points in 2020. A Casper Star-Tribune poll conducted in early July found Cheney coming in 22 points behind her Trump-endorsed opponent, attorney Harriet Hageman.
Yet Cheney is not tempering her message in an attempt to win over Trump-loving Republicans in her state. She has indicated in interviews that she thinks her work on the Jan. 6 committee is worth it, even if she loses her seat.
“Like many candidates across this country, my opponents in Wyoming have said that the 2020 election was rigged and stolen,” Cheney says in her campaign video. “No one who understands our nation’s laws, no one with an honest, honorable, genuine commitment to our Constitution would say that. It is a cancer that threatens our great republic.”
Cheney’s campaign plans to pay to boost the video on social media.
Two House Democrats, Rep. Dean Phillips (Minn.) and Tom Malinowski (N.J.), have also cut ads in support of Cheney, urging Wyoming Democrats to switch parties to vote in the Republican primary for her.
“No matter how long we must fight, this is a battle we will win. Millions of Americans across our nation — Republicans, Democrats, independents — stand united in the cause of freedom,” Cheney says in the video. “We are stronger, more dedicated and more determined than those trying to destroy our republic.”