Representative Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) has vowed to leave the Republican Party if former President Donald Trump receives the party’s nomination again in 2024, the Washington Examiner reports.
Cheney made the pledge on Saturday during an interview with Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith.
“I’m going to do everything I can to make sure he’s not the nominee,” Cheney said. “And if he is the nominee, I won’t be a Republican.”
Cheney demurred when Smith asked if she was prepared to run for president herself in a bid to oppose President Trump’s likely 2024 candidacy. She simply said she “certainly will do whatever it takes to make sure Donald Trump isn’t anywhere close to the Oval Office.”
Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, became one of the most vocal anti-Trump Republicans in the aftermath of the peaceful protests at the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021, during which supporters of the 45th president protested against widespread alleged voter fraud in the 2020 election.
Cheney subsequently voted in favor of the second impeachment of President Trump, and volunteered to serve on the January 6 select committee established by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Cheney is one of only two Republicans on the committee, along with Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.). She currently serves as the committee’s vice chairman.
Following her sudden shift to being an opponent of the popular former president, Cheney’s support among the Republican base cratered. She was removed from her position as chairman of the House Republican Conference, the third senior-most position among House Republicans, and then faced a primary challenge in her reelection bid by Trump-endorsed candidate Harriet Hageman. In the August primary, Hageman crushed Cheney in a landslide, winning 66 percent to Cheney’s 29 percent.
Cheney’s loss marked the second-largest primary defeat for a House incumbent in the last 60 years, only behind Rep. Bob Inglis (R-S.C.) in 2010. Hageman is now widely expected to win the general election in November.
Cheney is one of several pro-impeachment Republicans who have been defeated in their primaries by Trump-backed challengers. Of the 10 total who voted to impeach Trump, four chose not to run for reelection, including Kinzinger; of the remaining six, four, including Cheney, lost their primaries. The two who survived their challenges, Reps. Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.) and David Valadao (R-Calif.), only emerged victorious due to the votes of pro-Trump Republicans being split between too many candidates in each primary.
Meanwhile, President Trump is still widely considered the frontrunner for the Republican nomination in 2024. His approval among Republican voters remains at an all-time high, and it is generally assumed that he would face little opposition if he chooses to run.
If Trump were to win the nomination, he would be the first former president to run for president again since Theodore Roosevelt in 1912; he would also be the first person to win the Republican nomination three times since Richard Nixon, and the first person in history to win his party’s nomination three consecutive times. If he were to win the election in 2024, he would become the second president ever to serve two non-consecutive terms, after Democrat Grover Cleveland.