The editorial board of The Wall Street Journal lauded Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) for having the “courage of her convictions” after she lost her Tuesday GOP primary to attorney Harriet Hageman, warning that a party that could not tolerate her or others for voting the way they did following the Capitol riot “is narrowing its political and moral appeal.”
While the newspaper’s editorial board called Cheney a “conservative by any measure,” it also criticized her for her proximity to Democrats while serving on the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack, a committee that the editorial board implied was unfairly tarring the image of Republicans.
“Liz Cheney lost her Republican primary in Wyoming Tuesday because she bravely stood up to the stolen-election falsehoods of Donald Trump. Liz Cheney lost the primary because she alienated too many Republicans by making common cause with Democrats like Rep. Adam Schiff,” the editorial board wrote on Wednesday.
“Both statements can be true, and in our view both explain why Ms. Cheney lost decisively in a conservative state that had elected her three times and sent her father to Congress more times than that.”
The editorial, however, also offered a fresh rebuke to Trump, calling him “toxic to a majority of voters even as he retains the fervent support of tens of millions.”
The newspaper’s editorial board warned that Republicans could lose the presidency again in 2024 if Cheney runs, creating what they believed would be a “divided GOP.”
“Ms. Cheney’s concession speech suggests her mission in politics now is to prevent Mr. Trump from becoming President again. One option is running for the White House herself. She’d have little chance at the GOP nomination. But her goal may be to prosecute the political case against Mr. Trump in such a way that opens the door to other candidates,” the editorial board wrote.
The editorial comes less than a day after Cheney lost her primary to represent Wyoming’s lone House district.
Cheney faced an uphill battle after she and nine other House Republicans voted to impeach Trump following the Capitol insurrection.
Trump endorsed Hageman last year as a part of his revenge tour to back challengers to the Republicans he felt crossed him after the 2020 election and Capitol riot.
During her concession speech, Cheney reiterated her vow to do “whatever it takes” to keep the former president from coming near the White House again, adding that “now the real work begins.”