- Rep. Liz Cheney was chastised by several male GOP colleagues following her vote to impeach Trump.
- Rep. Norman of South Carolina told Cheney that she had “a defiant attitude,” according to The Times.
- Cheney refused to apologize for her vote and the caucus decided to keep her in leadership.
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This past year, GOP Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming has been tested by the most conservative elements of her party.
As the No. 3 House Republican, Cheney’s has a huge platform to influence the direction of the party.
However, after Cheney decided to join nine other Republicans and every House Democrat to impeach former President Donald Trump of “incitement of insurrection” for his role in the January 6 Capitol riot, her stock within the party sank among many members.
By going against the reigning leader from her own party, her position in leadership was quickly imperiled.
After the contentious vote, House Republicans discussed Cheney’s fate during the party’s Feb. 3 conference meeting.
Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, gave a deeply personal speech, saying she was “deeply, deeply concerned about where our party is headed,” according to The New York Times Magazine.
“We cannot become the party of QAnon,” she stressed. “We cannot become the party of Holocaust denial. We cannot become the party of white supremacy. We all watched in horror what happened on Jan. 6.”
On that fateful day, Trump blasted Cheney in his speech to his supporters that gathered near the Capitol before many of them stormed the Capitol building.
“The Liz Cheneys of the world, we got to get rid of them,” he said.
The former vice president called his daughter to let her know that Trump called her out by name during his speech, according to The Times.
During the Feb. 3 GOP conference meeting, several members asked Cheney to apologize for her vote to impeach Trump, but she refused.
“I cannot do that,” she said.
A contingent of members lined up to speak about the subject, with about half of the speakers indicating that they would support removing Cheney from leadership, according to The Times.
Rep. Ralph Norman of South Carolina said that he was disheartened by Cheney’s vote before critiquing her personality, according to The Times.
“The other thing that bothers me, Liz … is your attitude,” he said. “You’ve got a defiant attitude.”
Rep. John Rutherford of Florida said that by Cheney casting such a consequential vote against Trump, she was not acting as a “team player.”
According to The Times, Rep. Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania even compared Cheney’s actions to a jilted girlfriend rooting for another team.
“You look up into the stands and see your girlfriend on the opposition’s side – that’s one hell of a tough thing to swallow,” he said.
A female GOP colleague loudly said: “She’s not your girlfriend!”
Many Republican women in Washington were shocked by the statement.
“We emailed that around, just horrified, commenting in real time,” said former GOP Rep. Barbara Comstock of Virginia.
Cheney was reportedly unmoved by the heated discourse, only responding to direct questions.
When House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California sought to move past the issue, Cheney insisted that a vote on her status within the party be held that day.
In a 145-61 vote, the GOP caucus decided to keep Cheney in leadership.