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Liz Cheney questions Jim Jordan for Speaker due to his role in Jan. 6

The former congresswoman also appeared to take a swipe at Republican Rep. Matt Rosendale of Montana.
Liz Cheney questions Jim Jordan for Speaker due to his role in Jan. 6
Posted at 5:09 PM, Oct 06, 2023

Former U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney on Thursday questioned whether Rep. Jim Jordan should be disqualified from becoming Speaker of the House because of his role in the events leading up to the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

On the same night former President Donald Trump endorsed Jordan for the job Kevin McCarthy was voted out of, Cheney told a sold-out crowd in Missoula, Montana that Jordan was at the top of the list of Republican lawmakers who enabled the riots.

Cheney, who spoke at a Mansfield Center event on the University of Montana campus Thursday, said extremists in the Republican party are becoming dangerous for democracy — singling out Jordan.

"The notion that the Republican Party is anywhere close to contemplating putting Jim Jordan into the position of Speaker of the House is something that tells you the level of risk we face in our democracy today," Cheney said. "I would like to know, given that he was involved in all of the planning sessions that Donald Trump was involved in, why didn't Jim Jordan alert the Capitol Police? Why didn't he tell them what he knew? And I think that's a question that everybody should ask and certainly one that would disqualify him from being Speaker of the House."

Cheney, at one point the No. 3 Republican in the House, was Vice Chair of the select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attacks. She was also one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump over the Capitol riot, a move that led to her being "primaried" in her re-election bid in 2022 in Wyoming, losing to Harriet Hageman who went on to win the general election.

Cheney said nobody should be surprised by McCarthy's ouster on Capitol Hill this week.

"Kevin McCarthy made a fundamentally corrupt bargain to be Speaker of the House. And he made a corrupt bargain that began when we were still in the minority after Jan. 6, to tolerate and to appease and to usher Donald Trump back into office," Cheney said. She added that if Democrats would have voted to save McCarthy, it would have been the equivalent to looking the other way from the attack on the Capitol.

Leading the Thursday discussion was former Montana Gov. Marc Racicot, who once chaired the Republican National Committee. The Montana Republican Party voted to rebuke Racicot after he, too, voiced heavy opposition to Trump during his 2016 run for president.

Cheney has hinted about a future in politics, and did so again Thursday, telling Racicot that her mission is to ensure good people from both sides of the aisle work together "to make sure we get this right." She also vowed not to support any candidate who supports Donald Trump or who denies the validity of the 2020 election.

"Election deniers are an ongoing and very real threat," Cheney said. "Too often, Republicans who are not election deniers are supporting those who are just for the purpose of party loyalty."

The former congresswoman also appeared to take a swipe at Republican Rep. Matt Rosendale of Montana, while saying she thinks only a small number of House members truly believe the election was stolen.

"It may be two," Cheney said. "I don't even know if it's two. One of them might be one of your representatives here in Montana."

Rosendale was one of eight Republican House members who voted to remove McCarthy as Speaker.

When Cheney was asked if the public can expect to see her more ahead of the Nov. 2024 elections, Cheney coyly replied, "I think you will see me, yes."

Cheney called on the audience to vote for serious people, and run for office if there aren't serious candidates.

"Realize that the people that are trying to unravel our democracy are engaged in running for elected office at every level, from you know, precinct committee men and women to school boards. Every single level. And that means that those of us who believe in democracy have to be engaged at every single level, as well. So be engaged and involved," Cheney said. "We cannot abandon politics to the crazies."

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