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 would face tough path in presidential GOP primary
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.”
– By: Katie Wadington, Candy Woodall, David Jackson, Dylan Wells, USA TODAY