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Rep. Kevin McCarthy takes aim at Liz Cheney amid leadership feud
Republican House leader Kevin McCarthy for the first time on Sunday officially endorsed Rep. Elise Stefanik to replace Rep. Liz Cheney in her leadership post, saying Republicans need a unified conference to battle the Biden administration’s agenda.
“Do you support Elise Stefanik for that job?” Maria Bartiromo asked McCarthy on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.”
“Yes, I do,” McCarthy replied.
House Republicans have scheduled a Wednesday vote on Cheney, who has been at odds with many in her party for voting to impeach former President Donald Trump for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and criticizing his claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen.
“We need a conference that’s united. That’s why we need a conference chair that is delivering that message day in and day out and uniting the nation to make sure that we are on the right footing going forward,” he said about Cheney, the No. 3 Republican in the House.
Asked earlier in the show whether he has the votes to oust the Wyoming Republican, McCarthy said, “everyone in the leadership serves at the pleasure of the conference.”
“As you know, there’s a lot at stake. Democrats are destroying this nation. We have watched the greatest expansion of government and this socialist liberal agenda. We watched them destroy our borders, where hundreds of thousands are coming across, not being tested for COVID. We’re catching people on the terrorist watch list,” he said.
“To defeat Nancy Pelosi and the socialist agenda, we need to be united. And that starts with leadership,” McCarthy continued.
Stefanik (R-NY) has the endorsement of Trump, whom she defended as part of the Republican team during the impeachment hearing earlier this year.
Rep. Jim Banks, the chair of the influential Republican Study Committee, echoed McCarthy’s comments about Cheney’s leadership during an interview on “Fox News Sunday.”
“Republicans are almost completely unified in a single mission to oppose the radical, dangerous Biden agenda and win back the majority in the midterm election. And any other focus other than that is a distraction from stopping the Biden agenda from what it — what it’s already done in three months,” Banks (R-Ind.) told host Chris Wallace.
“That’s our focus as a House Republican conference. And any leader who’s not focused on that … needs to be replaced,” he said.
Banks said the Republican vote on Cheney isn’t to oust her from the party but to remove her from her leadership post.
As a leader Cheney doesn’t represent just her Wyoming district, he said — she represents “212 members of the Republican conference and right now it’s clear that she doesn’t represent the views of the majority of our conference or the focus that all of us have to win back the majority.”
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