Ousted GOP Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney appeared to endorse Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for another term with the speaker’s gavel Tuesday, just a week before Election Day.
“I want to say a word about Speaker Pelosi,” Cheney said at the City Club in Cleveland with PBS’s Judy Woodruff. “There are many, many issues, maybe most issues, on which we disagree. But I think that she is a tremendous leader. I’ve watched her up close. She is a leader of historic consequence.”
When asked later in the interview whether the country would be better off with a Republican majority, Cheney rejected the idea, preferring the same leadership that’s suppressed energy production and sent inflation to new heights, among other fiascos.
“People just need to understand what it will mean to have a Republican majority in the House of Representatives,” Cheney said. “The people who will be running the House of Representatives in a Republican majority will give authority and power to some of the most radical members of Congress and I don’t think that that’s good for the country.”
Woodruff sought to clarify Cheney’s remarks before the soon-to-be ex-lawmaker cut off the moderator.
“I think I’ll leave it the way I said it,” Cheney said.
“We heard you,” Woodruff responded candidly.
Cheney was one of two Republicans in the lower chamber to be appointed by Pelosi to the speaker’s committee hand-picked ostensibly to investigate the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot, even though just a fraction of the panel’s time was dedicated to the actual riot. Pelosi chose Cheney to lead the committee as vice chair after the speaker took the self-proclaimed “unprecedented” step of barring minority appointments by GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy. Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, who is not running for reelection this fall, became the second Republican to join the partisan probe.
Cheney, who was overwhelmingly booted from her No. 3 role in leadership as House GOP Conference chair last year, admonished McCarthy but refused to offer an alternative to speaker should Republicans reclaim the lower chamber.
“Who would be the right leader for Republicans in the House?” Woodruff asked.
“I hesitate to give any names because I don’t think it would help them,” Cheney said.
In fact, Republicans have fared poorly when given the Cheney stamp of approval. Out of the nine other Republicans who joined the Wyoming lawmaker in her vote to impeach President Donald Trump last year, just two remain on the ballot next week. The rest either lost primaries to a Trump-endorsed opponent or abandoned reelection altogether.
Cheney lost her primary by a wider margin than any to Trump-endorsed attorney Harriet Hageman, who carried the race by more than 37 points. Had Cheney not successfully courted Wyoming’s Democrat voters, her already overwhelming loss would have likely been by far higher margins in the Republican contest.
In her Cleveland conversation with Woodruff, Cheney endorsed longtime local Democrat Congressman Tim Ryan’s Senate bid against Republican venture capitalist J.D. Vance. According to RealClearPolitics’ latest aggregate of surveys, which are often manipulated to drive media narratives to Democrats’ benefit, Vance is up by two points in the contest critical to Republicans capturing the upper chamber majority.
“I would not vote for J.D. Vance,” Cheney said.