Washington: US Representative Liz Cheney said that she was “thinking” about running for president in 2024, a prospect that would test the national viability of a conservative, anti-Trump platform that failed resoundingly in Wyoming.
Cheney — who lost her House primary by more than 35 percentage points on Wednesday AEDT to a challenger, Harriet Hageman, endorsed by former President Donald Trump — also announced the formation of a political action committee, the Great Task, that would educate Americans about threats to democracy and oppose any effort by Trump to return to the White House.
The committee filed a statement of organisation with the Federal Election Commission on Wednesday. Its name refers to the Gettysburg Address, in which President Abraham Lincoln said “the great task remaining before us” was to ensure “that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth”.
It is a reference Cheney has made often, including in her concession speech Tuesday night.
Speaking to Savannah Guthrie on NBC’s Today Show Wednesday, Cheney initially avoided the question of whether she had a 2024 campaign in mind. But after being pressed, she said, “It is something that I am thinking about, and I’ll make a decision in the coming months.”
“I think that defeating him is going to require a broad, united front of Republicans, Democrats and independents,” she said of Trump. Later — referring in particular to “the lies that he has put out in the last few days” about the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago, and to his demonisation of federal law enforcement officials even as they face threats from his supporters — she added that she believed “millions of Republicans and Americans across this country” would reject his actions.
But while most Democrats and independents do oppose Trump, the Republicans who do are a small minority of the voters who will choose the party’s nominee in 2024. And while some Democrats in Wyoming changed their party affiliation to support Cheney in her primary when the alternative was a far-right Republican, it is hardly clear that Democrats nationally would support her when the alternative is a Democrat.
Cheney’s record, particularly on foreign policy, is anathema to many Democrats, and she indicated in the interview Wednesday that she would continue to push for policies that she said the Republican Party “used to stand for,” including beliefs “in limited government and low taxes and a strong national defence,” and “that the family has got to be the centre of our community and of our lives”.