Rep. Brendan Boyle told The Hill he admired Cheney, but said a potential WH bid could boost Trump.
“She’s sacrificed her congressional career to stand up to Trump,” Boyle said of his GOP colleague.
But he said a 2024 Cheney bid could “help Trump more than hurt him” if she ran as an independent.
For years, Rep. Liz Cheney’s conservative credentials were largely unquestioned within the Republican Party, with the Wyoming lawmaker sometimes touted as a future speaker in a GOP-controlled House.
But after the 2020 presidential election, Cheney’s critiques of former President Donald Trump — which included her voting to impeach him for “incitement of insurrection” for his role on January 6, 2021 — led to her fall from grace among many Republicans, as she was eventually booted as the chair of the House Republican Conference.
After the congresswoman lost the GOP primary for her House seat last week, speculation about her political future ramped up, as she continued to indicate that she was considering a presidential bid in 2024.
While many Democrats have been complimentary of Cheney’s performance as the vice chair of the House committee probing the January 6 riot, some are less certain about the ramifications of a potential Cheney White House bid.
Democratic Rep. Brendan Boyle of Pennsylvania recently told The Hill that he admired Cheney, while also expressing concerns that her potentially launching a presidential campaign could boost Trump if he enters the race.
“I greatly admire what Liz has done. She’s sacrificed her congressional career to stand up to Trump,” the congressman told the publication.
“As for 2024, it’s unclear to me if she ran as an independent that it would hurt Trump. There’s a danger she might inadvertently help Trump more than hurt him,” he added.
Cheney has repeatedly said she would work to ensure that Trump doesn’t occupy the Oval Office again, but some Democrats have speculated that her entry into the race as an independent could siphon off votes from President Joe Biden, who in 2020 won over many unaffiliated voters.
In such a scenario, some Democrats have said Trump would be the beneficiary, as conservatives would rally behind him. Biden would then be in the position of having to boost Democratic turnout and hold on to independents who’d be open to backing Cheney and who typically voted for Republican presidential nominees before Trump came to dominate the GOP.
During a Sunday appearance on ABC’s “This Week,” Cheney said the president reached out to her after her primary loss.
“We had a very good talk — a talk about the importance of putting the country ahead of partisanship,” she said.
Cheney also said she heard from the nine other Republicans who voted to impeach Trump last year. Of this small GOP cadre, only two members might be serving in Congress in 2023.
“We have differences of opinion among the 10 of us about a whole range of other issues,” she said. “But the fact that we all made the decision we did and have faced the consequences for that decision will be a bond, I would imagine, forever.”
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