WASHINGTON — Representative Kevin McCarthy, the minority chief, on Sunday formally endorsed Representative Elise Stefanik in her bid to oust the No. 3 House Republican, Representative Liz Cheney, who has hemorrhaged help over her repudiation of former President Donald J. Trump’s lies about election fraud.
“Yes, I do,” Mr. McCarthy informed the Fox News host Maria Bartiromo when she requested whether or not he supported Ms. Stefanik’s push to change into the Republican convention chairwoman.
“We need to be united, and that starts with leadership,” Mr. McCarthy mentioned. “That’s why we will have a vote next week.”
The endorsement from Mr. McCarthy — who had been working behind the scenes on Ms. Stefanik’s behalf for days — got here after Mr. Trump and Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the No. 2 House Republican, endorsed Ms. Stefanik.
The transfer made clear that fealty to Mr. Trump and willingness to embrace his false claims of election fraud have change into the final word litmus exams amongst Republicans for holding a management place in the House. Ms. Cheney, who represents Wyoming and was as soon as thought-about a future speaker, has a extra conservative voting file than Ms. Stefanik. But Ms. Stefanik, a fourth-term congresswoman from New York, has joined in Mr. Trump’s efforts to solid doubt on the legitimacy of President Biden’s victory in the 2020 election.
Representative Jim Banks of Indiana, the chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, made the case towards Ms. Cheney on “Fox News Sunday.”
“Right now it’s clear that she doesn’t represent the views of the majority of our conference,” Mr. Banks, who has co-sponsored laws with Ms. Cheney opposing troop reductions in Afghanistan, informed the present’s host, Chris Wallace.
Mr. Banks — who like Mr. McCarthy and Mr. Scalise joined in objections to certifying Mr. Biden’s victory — added that his cut up from Ms. Cheney got here after she criticized a memo he had written outlining a method for successful working-class voters.
“Liz Cheney is the only Republican leader who attacked the memo about making the Republican Party the party of the working class,” he mentioned.
Some House Republicans tried to oust Ms. Cheney from her management publish in February after she voted to impeach Mr. Trump for his function in inciting the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol. Ms. Cheney simply turned again that problem — successful a 145-to-61 caucus vote — after Mr. McCarthy delivered an impassioned speech in her protection.
But now it’s different Republicans who’re rallying to her aspect.
Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, who voted to convict Mr. Trump in his second impeachment trial, argued that the get together wanted to undertake a bigger-tent philosophy in which each supporters and critics of Mr. Trump had been welcome.
“You look at polls, there’s a whole group of folks that agree with Liz Cheney, and so for us to win in 2022 and 2024, we need everybody,” Mr. Cassidy mentioned Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Representative Adam Kinzinger, Republican of Illinois, identified that Mr. McCarthy had mentioned Mr. Trump bore accountability for the Capitol riot — solely to later insist that others cease speaking about it.
“It is incredible,” Mr. Kinzinger mentioned on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “Liz Cheney is saying exactly what Kevin McCarthy said the day of the insurrection. She has just consistently been saying it.”
“For me, I’m a conservative,” he added. “I’m going to fight for the soul of this party. But every member, not just leadership, every congressman, every state representative, every member of the party that pulls a ballot in the primary has to decide, are we going to exist on lies or exist on the truth?”