Gaetz, Greene tout push to oust Cheney: ‘Maybe we’re the leaders’

Reps. Matt Gaetz (Fla.) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.) on Friday argued that they were “ahead” of their Republican colleagues in an effort to oust Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.) from her role in GOP leadership.

Cheney, the House Republican Conference chairwoman, is facing a vote next week on whether she should keep her position. The vote is shaping up to be a loyalty test to former President Trump, whom Cheney has vocally criticized.

Gaetz and Greene, who have put themselves forward as some of Trump’s most ardent defenders in Congress, spoke during an event Friday at The Villages in Florida, the first stop on their “America First Tour.”

The pair noted that they have long pressed for Cheney’s removal from her leadership post after she voted earlier this year to impeach Trump for his role in inciting the Jan. 6 mob attack at the U.S. Capitol.

While House Republicans in February voted 145-61 to keep Cheney as the No. 3 GOP leader, Gaetz on Friday said that his colleagues have now “caught up” in their desire to oust the Wyoming lawmaker.

“We’re all about inviting people’s input and their thought process to the political right, but when somebody’s fundamental view is that we don’t need to work on election integrity, we don’t need to worry about the crisis at the border, we can find four more countries to invade before lunchtime tomorrow, that person should not be the spokesperson of the Republican Party,” Gaetz argued. 

“I’m glad our colleagues have caught up. Maybe we’re the leaders, Marjorie,” he added, prompting applause from audience members. 

Greene echoed this sentiment, noting, “We voted to kick her out a few months ago.”

“We were ahead on this,” added Greene, who herself was removed from her committee assignments earlier this year over past social media posts and statements indicating support for executing Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other Democratic leaders as well as advancing several conspiracy theories. 

The comments come as Gaetz is being investigated by federal authorities over whether he had sex with a minor and paid for her travel as well as whether he engaged in other sexual relationships in exchange for payment. 

While Cheney was able to secure enough support to remain in her leadership post earlier this year, her future is now clouded with uncertainty as a growing number of Republicans have vowed to vote to replace her next week with Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.).

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and his boss, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), have indicated support for removing Cheney over arguments that she has repeatedly undermined GOP messaging and efforts to take back control of the House in the 2022 midterm elections.

Cheney has revealed growing rifts among Republicans due to her continued opposition to Trump’s hold on the party, and Trump himself has vowed to support any primary challenger to the congresswoman. 

Cheney has continued to double down on her opposition to Trump, writing in a Washington Post op-ed this week, “The Republican Party is at a turning point, and Republicans must decide whether we are going to choose truth and fidelity to the Constitution.”

Tags America first Cheney-McCarthy rift Donald Trump Donald Trump Elise Stefanik Florida House House Republican Conference Kevin McCarthy Liz Cheney Marjorie Taylor Greene Matt Gaetz Nancy Pelosi Steve Scalise Wyoming

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