Liz Cheney Says She’s ‘Thinking’ About Running for President in 2024

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Representative Liz Cheney said early Wednesday 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.

Ms. Cheney — who lost her House primary by more than 35 percentage points on Tuesday to a challenger, Harriet Hageman, endorsed by former President Donald J. 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 Mr. Trump to return to the White House.

The committee filed a statement of organization with the Federal Election Commission on Wednesday. Its name refers to the Gettysburg Address, in which President Abraham Lincoln said that “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 Ms. Cheney has made often, including in her concession speech on Tuesday night.

Speaking to Savannah Guthrie on NBC’s “Today Show” on Wednesday, Ms. 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 Mr. Trump. Later — referring in particular to “the lies that he has put out in the last few days” about the F.B.I. search of Mar-a-Lago and to his demonization 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.

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But while most Democrats and independents do oppose Mr. 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 Ms. 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.

Ms. Cheney’s record, particularly on foreign policy, is anathema to many Democrats, and she indicated in the interview on 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 defense,” and “that the family has got to be the center of our community and of our lives.”

Ms. Cheney — who has helped lead the House investigation into actions by Mr. Trump and his allies surrounding the Capitol riot, and said she would continue that work in the months before her term ends in January — also spoke critically of Republicans who have gone along with Mr. Trump in rejecting the legitimacy of President Biden’s victory.

She warned against embracing Mr. Trump’s “cult of personality” and said the country needed leaders who stood by their oath “whether or not it’s politically convenient.”

“Kevin McCarthy does not fit that bill,” she said, referring to the House Republican leader.

Mr. McCarthy is poised to become House speaker if Republicans gain control of the chamber in November. But when Ms. Guthrie asked if the country would be better off if Democrats remained in charge, Ms. Cheney avoided directly endorsing that.

“I think we have to make sure that we are fighting against every single election denier,” she said. “The election deniers, right now, are Republicans. And I think that it shouldn’t matter what party you are. Nobody should be voting for those people, supporting them or backing them.”

To the Wyoming voters who criticized her for focusing too much on Mr. Trump and too little on the issues they cared about, she said that the former president posed an existential threat to American democracy and that, “as a nation, you don’t get the opportunity to debate and discuss any other issue if you simply turn your head away from that kind of a fundamental threat on our republic.”

Asked if she had misjudged Republican voters’ understanding of the importance of duty to the Constitution, Ms. Cheney responded: “Donald Trump has betrayed Republican voters. He’s lied to them. Those who support him have lied to them.”

She added, “They’re using people’s patriotism against them.”

At the end of the interview, Ms. Guthrie asked Ms. Cheney if she identified with Obi-Wan Kenobi’s words in his final battle with Darth Vader: “If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine,” which Ms. Guthrie summarized as being “stronger in political death this morning.”

“Well, I don’t see it as death this morning,” Ms. Cheney said. “My kids certainly appreciate that analogy. They’ve been running the YouTube clip around the house.”

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