Ousted Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., rolled out a series of endorsements in Cleveland on Tuesday, but if we’ve learned anything about what happens to the disgraced lame duck’s allies, those candidates should prepare for defeat on Election Day. Cheney has a habit of not only praising all the wrong people but also aligning herself with politicians that voters can’t abide.
At the start of a one-on-one interview with PBS’s Judy Woodruff, Cheney endorsed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats for another two-year term in the majority.
“I want to say a word about Speaker Pelosi,” Cheney said at the Cleveland City Club. “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.”
Later in the interview, Woodruff asked Cheney whether Republicans should even reclaim the majority in the lower chamber.
“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.”
Before Woodruff could get a follow-up question in to clarify Cheney’s remarks, the Wyoming congresswoman cut her off.
“I think I’ll leave it the way I said it,” Cheney said.
“We heard you,” Woodruff responded.
In the same hour, Cheney took her cheerleading for Democrats beyond the House to the partisan Senate contest.
“I would not vote for J.D. Vance,” she said, talking about the Republican venture capitalist vying for the vacant Senate seat left open by Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, who chose not to seek a third term. Cheney said she would instead vote for Cleveland-area Rep. Tim Ryan, the Democrat running in the bitter toss-up race, if she lived in the state.
Cheney’s stamp of approval, however, is no more likely to help Ryan, Pelosi, and House Democrats than it has the Republicans who have stood by her. Out of the nine other Republicans who joined her in the Democrats’ crusade 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, including Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger.
Cheney lost her own primary by a wider margin than any other 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 larger margins. Cheney says now she won’t vote for Hageman in the general, but the candidate is slated to win over voters in the deep-red state a second time next week.
House Democrats, on the other hand, have been forecast by some to lose as many as 35 seats, with Pelosi already plotting her exit strategy to become the Italian ambassador. Ryan is polling behind Vance in RealClearPolitics’ latest aggregate of polls, and that’s despite the fact that polls are routinely manipulated to show Democrats with an edge to drive media narratives that benefit them.
Two other Democrats this fall drew the poisoned praise of Cheney. While endorsing Democrats in Wyoming, Cheney turned her fire on Arizona GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, who is running against incumbent Secretary of State Katie Hobbs.
“In this election, you have to vote for the person who actually believes in democracy,” Cheney said in September, calling Lake an “election denier.” Cheney, the vice chair of Pelosi’s Select Committee on Jan. 6, however, just laughed when confronted about a book by her colleague on the panel, Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., about how her father stole the 2000 election.
Last week, Lake published an open letter to Cheney to thank the soon-to-be ex-congresswoman for airing ads against her. The former Arizona television anchor said the ads drew in $300,000 for the Republican’s campaign.
“Thank you for your generous in-kind contribution to my campaign. Your recent television ad urging Arizonans not to vote for me is doing just the opposite,” Lake wrote. “Our campaign donations are skyrocketing and our website nearly crashed from the traffic as people rush to learn more about my plan to put Arizona first and join our historic political movement.”
“While we appreciate your in-kind contribution, the $500,000 ad buy likely exceeds Arizona’s $5,300 individual contribution limit,” Lake added.
Lake is currently leading Hobbs by 3 points in the RealClear aggregate.
In Michigan, Cheney endorsed endangered Democrat Rep. Elissa Slotkin, who is running in a toss-up race to represent the 7th Congressional District. Slotkin is one of the Democrats’ most targeted incumbents after she was first elected in the blue-midterm year 2018.
“I encourage all voters in the 7th district — Republicans, Democrats, and Independents — to support her in this election,” Cheney said. But in Michigan, Republicans are picking up momentum statewide.