Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas was quick to shoot town a trial balloon floated by CNN concerning the chances that Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming could become the Republican presidential candidate in 2024.
Cheney has been among the most vituperative of former President Donald Trump’s critics, claiming that Trump played a key role in the Jan. 6 Capitol incursion, which she has painted as an insurrection.
On Tuesday, she made a Trump-bashing political speech in New Hampshire, which, because it is an early primary state, plays an outsize role in the presidential primary process.
CNN portrayed the speech as the possible start of what could be a successful candidacy for Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney.
“Is there a lane for Liz Cheney in New Hampshire in 2024?” CNN tweeted Thursday, including a video of panelists discussing Cheney’s 2024 odds.
Yes. It’s called the Democratic primary. https://t.co/q31fFvQZOp
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) November 13, 2021
Cruz then replied, “Yes. It’s called the Democratic primary.”
Cheney, never short of angry responses, fired back.
“I know you’re posturing for the secessionist vote, Ted. But my party, the Republican party, saved the Union. You swore an oath to the Constitution. Act like it,” Cheney tweeted.
I know you’re posturing for the secessionist vote, Ted. But my party, the Republican party, saved the Union. You swore an oath to the Constitution. Act like it. https://t.co/YyQ1XHRhCY
— Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) November 13, 2021
Cheney was referring to a comment Cruz made last month that Texas could be faced with the need to secede if liberal Democrats “fundamentally destroy the country,” according to Fox News.
“With an approval rating at 19% in Wyoming, people are wise to Liz Cheney. She is a threat to Free and Fair elections, which are the cornerstone of our Country, because she caved so easily on the Crime of the Century. She is happy to join the Democrats in the Unselect Committee (the next RUSSIA, RUSSIA, RUSSIA Hoax), and spread more of their lies,” he said.
During her Tuesday speech, Cheney characterized herself as a patriot rising above partisanship.
“When our constitutional order is threatened, as it is now, rising above partisanship is not simply an aspiration. It is an obligation — an obligation of every one of us,” she said.
She attacked Republicans who support Trump’s claims of election irregularities.
“Political leaders who sit silent in the face of these false and dangerous claims are aiding a former President who is at war with the rule of law and the Constitution,” she said.
But will that approach carve a path to the White House? Republican Corky Messner, an unsuccessful candidate for the Senate in 2020, does not think so, according to CNN.
“I think the chances of Liz Cheney, or somebody like her, doing well here when they’ve been critical of President Trump, today her chances would be very, very, very low,” said Messner. “Because former President Trump is still very strong here in New Hampshire,” he added of her challenge in a primary.
Tom Rath, a former Republican National Committeeman, said Cheney might yet have a path to the presidency.
“I believe there is, and I believe there must be. I think you’ve got to develop this discussion broader than being defined by somebody who had one term four years ago,” he told CNN.
“But when we go through the ’22 cycle, and we begin to see whether those who are the most loyal or tied to him don’t do as well, electorally, as you might think, I think it will change,” he said.
“The Cheney family knows the calendar and knows where it starts, and this is not a bad place for her to be,” Rath said. “Nothing that happens here is an accident.”
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