U.S. Reps. Chris Stewart and U.S. Rep. John Curtis, meantime, did support the move. U.S. Rep. Burgess Owens was out of Washington, D.C., and didn’t take part in Wednesday’s vote among House GOPers, which resulted in Cheney’s ouster from her leadership position.
In a statement, Moore, the 1st District representative, cited the diversity Cheney brings in saying she deserved to stay on as conference chair for the GOP, which made her the third most powerful House Republican.
“Republican House candidates won big in 2020 due in part to the broad appeal, diversity and unique strengths of leaders across the Republican party. Kevin McCarthy, Steve Scalise, and Liz Cheney represent the inclusivity that so many voters appreciate. They each bring constructive perspectives and priorities to the table, and we are only stronger because of that,” Moore said in a statement. McCarthy, a California representative, is the House Republican leader while Scalise, a lawmaker from Louisiana, is the House Republican whip.
Stewart and Curtis said Cheney has a right to voice her views and touted their votes to oust her as conference chair as a means to unify GOP leadership. Cheney, a Wyoming lawmaker, has come under fire from some GOPers due to her criticism of former President Donald Trump and her vote last February to impeach him, one of only a few Republicans to do so.
“Today’s vote to remove Liz Cheney from her leadership position was not an attempt to silence her from speaking the truth about the election,” Curtis, Utah’s 3rd District representative, said in a statement. “Today’s vote was about removing someone who Republicans broadly believe has been an inefficient leader and has distracted the party from moving forward and uniting Americans.”
While members of Congress may speak their minds, “a member of leadership has even greater duties,” Stewart, Utah’s 2nd District representative, said in a statement. “The Republican conference chair is responsible for galvanizing and guiding our party back to the majority. That means focusing on creating the future America needs — one that stresses the dignity of work, individual freedom over government dependence and the principle of equal opportunity for all to rise.”
Both Moore and Curtis stated that they did not question results from the 2020 presidential vote. Some observers have equated GOP opposition to Cheney as an indicator of accord with lingering assertions by some Republicans — rejected by election officials — that Trump won the presidential vote.
“As one of the first Republican members of Congress to recognize the legitimacy of the 2020 election, I have been clear that I do not question the election results,” Curtis said. “In fact, I have encouraged my colleagues to speak out against any false narratives around the election, recognize Joe Biden as the duly elected president, and begin working with him to better America.”
Moore reiterated his previous comments that Biden won the presidential vote, while also offering a critique of the Democratic leader. “It is our duty to accept that result, even as we double down on our efforts to oppose this administration’s out-of-control spending,” Moore said.
After Wednesday’s vote, Cheney sounded a defiant tone, reiterating her reservations with Trump, according to Fox News.
“I will do everything I can to ensure that the former president never again gets anywhere near the Oval Office,” Cheney said. “We have seen the danger that he continues to provoke with his language. We have seen his lack of commitment and dedication to the Constitution.”