Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida and Republican contender for president in 2016, slammed a “hyper focus on DC politics” amid a leadership battle in the House Republican Conference among those who believe Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., is not welcome in the Republican Party.
Bush was responding to an assertion from National Review editor Jay Nordlinger who asked questions about the state of the GOP. Nordlinger argued Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo. was “persona non grata” in the Republican Party.
“Where is the juice in the Republican Party right now? Liz Cheney is on the outs. Her rival, Elise Stefanik, is bolstering support on the talk shows of Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka,” Nordlinger wrote on Twitter. “Cheney is persona non grata. Stefanik — very much grata. This is the GOP. No way around it.”
“It would be too simple to say it all comes down to truth versus lies, wouldn’t it? Or would it?” Nordlinger added.
“Jay, you maybe are falling into the trap that conservative are defined by what goes on in Washington DC,” Bush shot back. “We are a bottom-up country and all of this hyper focus on DC politics is wrong. Look to conservatives in the states and those doing great work outside of organized politics.”
But Cheney, who could lose her No. 3 spot in House Republican leadership after repeated clashing with former President Donald Trump over his false claims the 2020 election was stolen, faces pressure back home too – the Wyoming GOP voted to censure her after her vote to impeach Trump after the Jan. 6 Capitol riots. Moreover, Republicans are plotting to oust her as the state’s lone representative in Congress when she’s up for reelection next year.
Cheney’s vote to impeach Trump triggered a campaign for her ousting from leadership earlier this year, one that she easily survived with support from House Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.
Now, however, McCarthy, Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., and others have since abandoned Cheney and support Rep. Elise Stefanik, New York Republican from a moderate district who has increasingly aligned herself with Trump.
Interestingly,Stefanik has a far less conservative voting record than Cheney, who represents deep-red Wyoming. The conservative group Heritage Action gave Cheney a 91% score compared to just 56% for Stefanik during the most recent Congress.