- Rep. Liz Cheney said Wednesday she would decide on 2024 election plans over ‘coming months.’
- Harriet Hageman, with Trump’s backing, soundly defeated Cheney on Tuesday in Wyoming’s GOP primary.
Rep. Liz Cheney, former President Donald Trump’s most prominent Republican critic, said she’s considering a presidential run, hours after her stinging defeat in her GOP primary in Wyoming.
A 2024 campaign “is something I’m thinking about and I’ll make a decision in the coming months,” Cheney told NBC’s “Today” on Wednesday morning. She did not mention if she would run as a Republican. There has been speculation she could mount a campaign as an independent.
In the meantime, the three-term House lawmaker and vice chair of the Jan. 6 committee, said she is focused on “doing whatever it takes to keep Donald Trump out of the Oval Office,” she said.
Trump, who backed Cheney’s opponent Harriet Hageman, has teased a reelection campaign but has not officially announced he’s running in 2024. He faces legal inquiries on many fronts, including an investigation related to classified documents removed last week from his Florida estate.
- Cheney will launch a new organization aimed squarely at blocking the reelection of former President Donald Trump.
- With Cheney’s loss, Trump’s work to defeat the 10 House Republicans who voted for his impeachment in January 2021 was rewarded. Here’s how those 10 have fared so far.
- In Alaska’s primary, incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski advanced to the general election, along with challenger Kelly Tshibaka. In the House race, Sarah Palin moved to the November election, along with challengers Nick Begich III and Mary Peltola.
- Former Vice President Mike Pence, another possible 2024 contender, suggested while in New Hampshire on Wednesday that he would consider testifying in front of the Jan. 6 committee, which is investigating Trump’s involvement in the Capitol riot.
Cheney’s timeline:How Liz Cheney went from Trump backer and GOP leader, to his fiercest critic and GOP outcast
Wyoming, Alaska primaries:Takeaways: Cheney loses to Hageman in Wyoming; Alaska’s Murkowski and Palin advance to general
Even before she lost her Republican House primary Tuesday in Wyoming, political analysts forecasted the tough path Rep. Liz Cheney would face if she seeks the country’s highest office.
For months, the congresswoman has indicated she’s thinking about it. On Wednesday, she made that more of a reality by reorganizing her campaign finance account as a leadership PAC geared at preventing former President Donald Trump from reentering the Oval Office.
But if she intends to keep him out by running against him in a Republican presidential primary – for which neither Cheney nor Trump have announced a bid – she faces an almost-certain loss, multiple analysts told USA TODAY.
“She could never, ever, ever, ever win a Republican primary,” said former Rep. Joe Walsh, who served in the House as a Republican from Illinois before Trumpism prompted him to leave the party. The base has become “radicalized” and “there’s no room for Liz Cheney in the party.”
Rick Wilson, co-founder of the anti-Trump Lincoln Project, said he doesn’t see the traditional conservative Cheney changing the party enough to be able to win it. “I don’t believe the Republican Party can be revived as long as Trump has an iron grip on it.”
Cheney has “ticked off” the core base of the party too much to win a primary, according to Republican strategist Susan Del Percio. “She is following a playbook that is true and good for the public commission and horrible politically.”
– Candy Woodall
Asked if she would rule out running as a third party candidate in 2024, Cheney told Politico, “I really am not at all focused on that kind of specifics.”
Cheney said her attention is on finishing her term in Congress, informing people across the country what happened on Jan. 6, 2021, and “making sure people understand how dangerous it is to vote for, to support election deniers.”
“Then I’ll go look towards sort of what comes next after that,” she said.
– Dylan Wells
Pence says he’d ‘consider’ testifying before the Jan. 6 committee if asked
As Cheney repositioned herself for a potential national campaign after her loss in Wyoming, rifts within the GOP over former President Donald Trump were on display when former Vice President Mike Pence made an appearance in New Hampshire on Wednesday.
Pence, who is himself a potential 2024 presidential contender, said he would consider testifying before the Jan. 6 committee if asked. While Pence added many caveats and emphasized he had some constitutional concerns about appearing before the congressional committee, his remark was the latest example of Pence distancing himself from Trump.
“If there was an invitation to participate, I would consider it,” Pence said in remarks at a New Hampshire event that were broadcast on NBC. Pence was speaking at the “Politics & Eggs” breakfast, an event that describes itself as a “must-stop” on the presidential campaign trail. New Hampshire plays a crucial role in the selection of presidential nominees since it holds its primary election early, right after the Iowa caucus that kicks off the nominating process.
– Caren Bohan, Ella Lee
Pence testimony?:Former VP Mike Pence says he would ‘consider’ testifying before Jan. 6 committee if asked
Murkowski leads Alaska Senate challengers
Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski will get to seek another term, after advancing to the November general election on Tuesday.
Murkowski’s challenger, Kelly Tshibaka, also advanced to November, where they both will be on a ranked-choice ballot in the fall after making it through the state’s new nonpartisan primary system.
Murkowski’s wide base of Republicans, Democrats and independents could help her hold onto the seat for a fourth term.
The senator is the only member of her chamber who voted to convict former President Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial who is facing voters this year. Others have retired or are up for reelection in 2024 or later.
– Candy Woodall
Businessman Nick Begich III, former Gov. Sarah Palin and tribal activist Mary Peltola will advance to the November general election for Alaska’s sole congressional district.
The three candidates are also competing in a special election to fill the seat until the end of the term of the late Rep. Don Young, who died earlier this year. Results from that vote will not be made available for days, as mail-in ballots are counted.
Begich and Palin are Republicans; Peltola is a Democrat. The state’s nonpartisan primary system allows the top four vote recipients to move forward to the general election, regardless of their political party.
– Dylan Wells
In another sign she may be running for president, Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., filed a form Wednesday morning with the Federal Election Commission to revamp her campaign account.
The account, which had about $7 million in it at the end of July, is now a leadership PAC called “The Great Task.”
The Great Task was the name of the final ad in Cheney’s failed reelection campaign and a phrase from former President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, which she referenced in her concession speech Tuesday night.
The change follows Cheney’s promise to do “whatever it takes” to fight against any reelection run from former President Donald Trump, who has his own leadership PAC called “Save America.” Trump used money in that fund to back Harriet Hageman, who defeated Cheney in the Wyoming primary.
– Candy Woodall
Rep. Liz Cheney will start an organization in the next few weeks to mobilize a unified effort opposing any election bid from former President Donald Trump and educating the American people about the ongoing threat to democracy, her spokesman Jeremy Adler confirmed to USA TODAY on Wednesday morning.
The new organization was first reported by Politico Playbook.
Cheney’s new group doesn’t have a name yet and is being formed as she considers a 2024 presidential run.
– Candy Woodall
On Tuesday night, after conceding defeat to Hageman, Cheney told a crowd of supporters: “This primary election is over but now the real work begins.”
Cheney again denounced Trump for “lies” about the 2020 election, and indicated she would work against other Republican “election deniers” who are seeking offices across the country in this year’s election.
At the time, Cheney did not allude to a presidential campaign of her own in 2024, nor did she discuss in detail her ongoing work on the Jan. 6 congressional committee investigation.
– David Jackson
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