Surveying the wreckage of last week’s Republican efforts to elect a speaker of the House, former Rep. Liz Cheney said Sunday that she was disturbed about how intimidation was part of Jim Jordan’s campaign to win that job.
“Political violence and the threats of violence have now reared their head once again,” the Wyoming Republican said on CNN’s “State of the Union.“ “Those have become part of our politics in a way that certainly they never should.”
Some backers of Jordan (R-Ohio) spent part of last week trying to strong-arm his Republican opponents into supporting him for speaker. Jordan stopped his bid for speaker after three failed ballots.
Cheney said those tactics were an indication how bad things have gotten in American politics. “That kind of acceptance of violence is completely inappropriate and dangerous in our politics,” she said.
Two weeks ago, Cheney said she was worried about Jordan becoming speaker because of his ties to former President Donald Trump when he was seeking to overturn the 2020 election. “Jim Jordan knew more about what Donald Trump had planned for January 6 than any other member of the House of Representatives," she said in a speech at the University on Minnesota.
On Sunday, Cheney said she was glad that Jordan was ultimately not elected speaker but wants her former Republican colleagues to be more vocal in standing up to those like Jordan who kowtowed to Trump.
“I do think,” she told host Jake Tapper, “that if we're going to be able to get back to a place in this country where we actually have people who are advocating for the Constitution in both parties, then we're going to need people to, you know, have some more courage than my former colleagues are showing right now and be willing to say no, I won't accept this or stand for it.”
Cheney, who formerly served as chair of the House Republican Conference, was defeated in Wyoming’s 2022 Republican primary after serving on the House’s Jan. 6 panel led by Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.). She has consistently been harshly critical of Trump, who backed her primary opponent.
“He cannot be the next president,” Cheney said of Trump on Sunday. “Because if he is, all of the things that he attempted to do, but was stopped from doing by responsible people around him, at the Department of Justice, at the White House Counsel’s Office, all of those things, he will do. There will be no guardrails and everyone has been warned.”
Saying she has not ruled out running herself, Cheney said the Republican Party has lost its way.
“We have to have a party that gets back to advocating those conservative policies, gets back to embracing the Constitution. That is not what the Republican Party is doing today,” she said.