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Liz Cheney drives GOP bus over Trump then backs over him again

Wyoming Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney said Donald Trump is not the head of the GOP, saying that the role belongs to two people who actually won elections in November 2020, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

“I think our elected leaders are the ones who are in charge,” Cheney said in response to a question from a reporter about the role Mr. Trump should play in the party going forward, according to CBS News. “And I think as we look at ’22 and ’24, we’re very much going to be focused on substance and on the issues.”

While some Republicans fear the influence Trump has on the radical base of the GOP, others are pulling back from the fading influence Trump has on the center, more mainstream power centers of the Party.  Cheney herself saw the waning influence of Trump at the end of his term after she voted to impeach him:  Trump’s bluster called for her to be removed from leadership positions with the Republican House caucus, but its members refused to vote her out of her position as caucus chair, the third most powerful position in the GOP House caucus.

“I think that’s where we’ve got to attract back the voters that we lost in 2020 by conveying to them that, in fact, we are the party that they can trust. We’re the party of competence and of conservative principles,” Cheney said Monday.

The GOP now sees major fracturing within its ranks between the Trump faction of the Party–represented in the House by people like Matt Gaetz, Jim Jordan, Scott Perry, Marjorie Taylor Green, Lauren Boebert and Devin Nunez–versus the leadership of people like Cheney who look for a wider future for the Republican Party.

While many Republican House members voted publicly to challenge the certification of the 2020 election to placate Trump, many of those 147 House members voted in a secret ballot to keep Cheney in her leadership position just weeks after her impeachment vote.  This signals a Party split between its public image to entice the fundraising power of Trump and the saner wing which sees the need for rationality in the future.

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