Rep. Liz Cheney released a closing message video ahead of a Republican primary she is expected to lose next week, framing the congressional race as part of a bigger fight for the soul of the nation.
Regardless of the race’s outcome, Cheney, a Wyoming Republican, has publicly hinted recently that she will run for president in 2024. Privately, those close to her have done nothing to discourage others from assuming she will. And while her video message spoke of a long fight required to reject the “poisonous lies” of former President Donald Trump about the 2020 election, she did not give any specific hints about her future plans.
Cheney did, however, talk of a cause that she said would unite Republicans, Democrats and independents. That is a nod to a national effort she seems intent on leading that transcends party and ideology.
“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. 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,” Cheney said.
“This is Donald Trump’s legacy, but it cannot be the future of our nation,” she said.
“If we do not condemn these lies, if we do not hold those responsible to account, we will be excusing this conduct and it will become a feature of all elections. America will never be the same.”
Polls show Cheney is likely to lose her seat in Congress next Tuesday by double-digit margins, to a Republican primary challenger who has shown fealty to Trump and his baseless claims of a rigged election in 2020.
That challenger, Harriet Hageman, is expected not only to win the primary contest for Wyoming’s only congressional seat but, in a state that is largely Republican, to easily win the fall election.
Cheney has said for over a year that she is intent on keeping Trump out of the presidency for a second time, following his central role in fomenting an assault on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Since then she has been the top Republican on the select committee investigating Jan 6. The panel’s work has revealed how much of what happened on Jan. 6 was premeditated by Trump and his allies.
The questions facing Cheney now — if she does lose to Hageman — will revolve around how much she says about her future plans, including a possible White House run.