“There is no concern about how she voted for impeachment. This decision has been made, ”McCarthy told“ Fox & Friends ”in an interview.
“I have heard from members concerned about her ability to carry out her duties as conference chairperson, to get the message out,” he said. “We all have to work together if we can win the majority. Remember, majorities are not given, they are won. And it’s about the message of moving forward.
Responding to McCarthy’s remarks, Cheney spokesman Jeremy Adler released a statement later Tuesday morning framing the fight this way: “It’s about whether the Republican Party is going to perpetuate lies about the election of 2020 and try to whitewash what happened on January 6. do not do that. This is the problem. ”
As tensions between key House Republican leaders continue to escalate, the relationship between Conference No.1 and No.3 has hit rock bottom following his annual political retirement in Florida last week, an event designed to project a united front that Republicans are turning to. take back the house. The conversation among elderly Republicans is not whether Cheney will survive another vote on her future, but who will inevitably replace her.
Members of McCarthy’s management team have already started whipping Cheney, according to a House Republican.
A handful of names are thrown around to succeed him, but New York Rep. Elise Stefanik – who rose to GOP celebrity status in Trump’s first impeachment trial – has emerged as one of the early trailblazers, according to many. senior Republicans and sources close to the leaders. Stefanik, 36, would be interested in the job if Cheney gets the startup and called her colleagues to talk about her interest in the job and get support, though her allies think she worries she doesn’t feel like stabbing Cheney .
Stefanik, who mulled over a candidacy for New York governor this year, has a number of things going for her: She’s become a prolific fundraiser, is seen as an effective party messenger, and is appreciated by the community. MAGA crowd, including Trump and McCarthy. But Stefanik also has a PAC dedicated to electing more Republican women, which forced her to play in the GOP primaries – and that could be problematic if she finds herself in the lead.
Republicans are well aware of the optics of starting the only woman to serve in the GOP leadership, with some stressing the importance of finding another woman to take Cheney’s place. Indiana Rep. Jackie Walorski is another Republican whose name has been cast, but she isn’t generally considered as strong a candidate as Stefanik.
And if the party decides to ignore any backlash, male suitors are also offered. Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana, chairman of the Republican Study Committee, expressed his interest in the job. And some pointed to Representative Mike Johnson of Louisiana, who sits in fourth place as conference vice president.
Discussions over who will replace her indicate that a vote on Cheney’s future is inevitable, barely three months after her cruise to victory after House conservatives’ first attempt to oust her from leadership.
House Republicans will snuggle up next Wednesday for their weekly conference, at which McCarthy can call for a vote or another member can present a resolution, as happened in February. If the GOP conference purges Cheney, they’ll have to hold another vote on his replacement. While the timeline for those votes is on hold, Republicans predict the process will unfold quickly, with many eager to tear the bandaid off.
McCarthy privately defended Cheney in the February vote on whether to keep her in charge. But their relationship has since deteriorated, as McCarthy has sought to reverse his criticism of Trump and bond more closely to the former president – while continuing to insist that Trump should not play any role in the future of the Republican Party.
House Democrats were quick to mock the GOP for its apparent concern over Cheney’s anti-Trump apostasy. Responding to Republicans’ interest in replacing Cheney with a female conference chairperson, President Nancy Pelosi’s office on Tuesday released a statement titled: “GOP Leadership: Help Needs – A Non-Threatening Woman” .
And White House press secretary Jen Psaki used Cheney’s struggles to contrast Biden’s agenda: “The Republican Party seems to spend a lot of blood, sweat and tears trying to figure it out. where it is and what it represents. And that’s their prerogative, ”Psaki told reporters on Monday. “But our goal is … that we spend our time beating the pandemic and growing the economy.”
Tensions between McCarthy and Cheney resurfaced during a retreat for GOP lawmakers in Florida last month, where the two Republican House leaders publicly broke with each other in a series of remarks to reporters on Cheney’s message, Trump’s 2020 election lies, and a proposal for a bipartisan commission to investigate. the insurrection.
Conservatives including Donald Trump Jr. attacked Cheney last week for President Joe Biden ahead of his first speech to a joint session of Congress, and Republican infighting escalated Monday after former President Trump issued a statement attempting to rename the 2020 election as the real “BIG LIE.”
Cheney replied on Twitter about an hour later, writing: “The 2020 presidential election has not been stolen. Anyone who claims this is the case is spreading THE BIG LIE, turning their backs on the rule of law and poisoning our democratic system.
The back-and-forth between the former president and the GOP conference chair sparked yet another round of backlash from Tories and fueled already rampant speculation that Cheney could soon be kicked out of the House leadership.
Later Monday afternoon, Trump released a statement touting a “heartwarming” public poll in Cheney’s home state, allegedly showing her a low approval rating and predicting that “she will never show up for office again. Wyoming elections! ”
Cheney, for her part, reprimanded Trump again Monday night at a closed-door conference in Georgia, where CNN reported that it called Trump’s false allegations of election fraud “poison in the blood of our democracy. And said that “we cannot whitewash. what happened ”on January 6.
Meanwhile, McCarthy was also criticized by Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who broadcast a segment Monday night, pointing out that the Republican House leader had rented space in a high-end Washington, DC apartment owned by Frank Luntz – the polling veteran and Republican strategist who criticized Trump’s rhetoric and election actions on the 6th January.
“I didn’t know how controversial this was,” McCarthy said Tuesday of the report. “Frank has been a friend of mine for over 30 years.”
McCarthy said that after the Democrats regained control of the House in January 2019, “they started moving houses, and so, yes, I rented a room. [from] Frank for a few months. But don’t worry, I’m going back to where I normally am [am], on my couch in my office. But yes, we paid the fair market rate. “
“He seems upset,” McCarthy added of Carlson. “I think [Frank] and Tucker must hate himself, and I don’t think that’s true. They have to come together and resolve any difficulties, because we have to make sure we get this country back on track.