House Republican conference chairwoman Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), her brother-in-arms against former President Donald Trump, have been playing directly into the hand of talking points and opposition research that originated with Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The moves they made have helped Democrats in their push to divide Republicans at a time when the GOP seeks unity ahead of the all-important upcoming 2022 midterm elections and as Republicans aim to rein in President Joe Biden’s aggressive leftist agenda.
Axios reported late Monday night that Pelosi has devised a “playbook” aimed at “showing the myriad ways she deals with the GOP herself.”
“We’ve seen Pelosi cut opponents off at the knees, like she did with President Trump, or pretend to forget their names, as she did to Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.),” Axios’s Alayna Treene and Glen Johnson wrote on Monday evening. “Now she’s feeding oppo research against her House counterpart, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), so others can use the same harsh rhetoric to frame the Republicans as the party of dysfunction.”
What is perhaps most interesting about all of this is not how Pelosi’s fellow Democrats and establishment media figures have adopted her “oppo research” and talking points against Republicans. It is that so-called Republicans, notably Cheney and Kinzinger, have succumbed to spreading Pelosi’s messages for her as well.
The Axios story says that Pelosi’s “spectrum of her tactical range will be on full display this week,” and “House Democrats must react to Republican efforts to remove Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) as GOP conference chair as early as Wednesday.”
Pelosi herself is driving this as well, not staff. “The messaging is 95% her, 5% her team,” a Democrat aide told Axios.
Pelosi has even publicly praised Cheney in what Axios says is “an effort to undercut Republican leadership.”
“I do commend Liz Cheney for her courage, for her patriotism,” Pelosi said of Cheney recently, for instance.
What’s more, Pelosi’s office has apparently begun blasting out emails containing the messaging points to attack Republicans. The Axios story notes that Pelosi’s congressional office “has ramped up its opposition research emails attacking McCarthy and other Republican leaders amid the drama surrounding Cheney’s ouster.”
One May 4 email from Pelosi’s office had a subject line: “From the GOP Leadership: Help Wanted — Non-Threatening Female.”
On May 5, Pelosi’s office sent another email with the subject line: “McCarthy’s Rules: Punishing Truth, Rewarding Lies, Embracing Extremism & Bigotry.”
AZThe same day, May 5, which Pelosi sent that email out, Cheney wrote an oped for the Washington Post using much of the same language and messaging. “The Republican Party is at a turning point, and Republicans must decide whether we are going to choose truth and fidelity to the Constitution,” Cheney wrote in the Post. “In the immediate wake of the violence of Jan. 6, almost all of us knew the gravity and the cause of what had just happened — we had witnessed it firsthand.”
On May 10, Kinzinger—who, along with Cheney and eight other House Republicans, voted for impeaching Trump on his way out of office—lit into Republicans using Pelosi’s talking points from a few days prior.
“This is lies versus truth,” Kinzinger said at an event with the National Press Club.”It’s amazing how some of my colleagues claim to likewise be Christians but are somehow OK with, like, just accepting and supporting these lies.”
During the event, he also echoed Pelosi’s claim that the GOP wanted to replace Cheney with a “non threatening female.”
“When it comes down to it, that’s what Liz Cheney is being removed for — for making it uncomfortable and being consistent,” Kinzinger said. “And God bless her for having the consistency to tell the truth.”
A source close to House GOP leaders told Breitbart News that Cheney and Kinzinger continuing down this road is only helping Democrats—and spreading Pelosi’s messages—in their quest to retain a slim House majority.
“Cheney and Kinzinger have been in lockstep with Pelosi and the Democrats for years — from the Russia hoax to the sham impeachments to the ridiculous and now debunked Russian bounties story,” the Republican source said. “No one should be surprised that they’re aligning their messaging with Pelosi’s oppo research on their fellow Republicans. That’s exactly why Liz does not belong in a leadership role for the GOP conference. She makes the case against herself without any help from her detractors.”
This person also pointed to Kinzinger criticizing the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) for effective attacks against now-former Democrat Rep. Max Rose (D-NY) on Staten Island in New York last cycle. In 2019, Kinzinger publicly ripped the NRCC for critiques against Rose—then a vulnerable Democrat incumbent in a battleground district—saying he was “bothered by” the NRCC for ripping Rose’s short stature.
“I was bothered by that attack on Max Rose,” Kinzinger said then, according to Politico. “The president’s got his own unique style. I don’t think we need to mimic it. I was really disappointed by that and I hope we do better.”
Kinzinger ended up being incorrect—and the NRCC was right—as Republicans flipped the Staten Island seat and Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY) defeated Rose, in part thanks to those vicious GOP tactics. Malliotakis’s victory was one of 15 seats where Republicans ousted incumbent Democrats, against all expectations from oddsmakers and professional prognosticators, setting the GOP up for a shot at retaking the majority next November.
What is more, these revelations about Cheney and Kinzinger come on the heels of the news last week that Cheney has been circulating documents to the whole House GOP conference branded as House GOP conference products that actually were lifted nearly word-for-word from Biden White House talking points documents. Cheney repackaged the Biden White House talking points document on immigration as a GOP product and circulated it unknowingly to House Republicans.
All of this—and more—is likely to further fuel Cheney’s likely forthcoming demise on Wednesday as the House GOP conference is set to meet during which time House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy confirmed there will be a vote on removing Cheney as conference chair. Republicans are likely to replace Cheney with Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) on Wednesday. Stefanik has McCarthy’s and Trump’s endorsements, as well as that of House GOP whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA).
In an exclusive interview this weekend on Breitbart News Saturday on SiriusXM 125 the Patriot Channel, Stefanik pledged to be a representative of the conference if elected chair—and to stop this division Cheney and her cohorts like Kinzinger have been spreading.
“The conference chair is a unique role,” Stefanik said. “The role of the conference chair, who’s elected by all of the Republican members of Congress, you speak with a unified voice for the majority of Republican members, and there has been significant frustration among the members of the Republican conference that she is no longer doing that. And we hear that frustration at home among voters. And it’s going to be really important going into 2022, to have the best chance to win back the majority we need to speak with a unified voice. The role of the conference chair is very different than a rank-and-file member. Rank-and-file members vote how they want. They vote their districts. But when you are the conference chair and communicating and in charge of the message of the party in the House, you have to represent the majority of the members and the majority of the voters across this country.”