On Tuesday, Republican Rep. Liz Cheney lost her US Congress seat to Trump-backed election-denying conspiracy theorist Harriet Hageman in the latest signal of her party’s disavowal of traditional conservatism in favor of Donald Trump’s hardline “America First” movement.
But Cheney kept her dignity in defeat, standing tall and proud to have stayed by the truth as she vowed to carry on her fight against the former President and the election-denying movement he leads in a speech Tuesday night after conceding defeat in her primary.
Overnight, Cheney took the first step on her fight by filing paperwork with the Federal Election Commission creating a leadership PAC to be called “The Great Task.” This is the first of several next steps from Cheney as she starts to make good on ideas expressed in her election night speech. As noted by CNN, the name of the PAC is a historic nod to Lincoln who spoke at Gettysburg of the “great task” facing the country.
“The great and original champion of our party, Abraham Lincoln, was defeated in elections for the Senate and the House before he won the most important election of all,” Cheney said during her concession speech. “Lincoln ultimately prevailed, he saved our union and he defined our obligation as Americans for all of history.”
“No House seat, no office in this land is more important than the principles that we are all sworn to protect. And I well understood the potential political consequences of abiding by my duty,” she said. “Our republic relies upon the goodwill of all candidates for office to accept, honorably, the outcome of elections. And tonight, Harriet Hageman has received the most votes in this primary. She won. I called her to concede the race.”
Cheney also addressed the recent search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida, denouncing the former President’s efforts to sow anger among his supporters and potentially endanger FBI agents involved in the raid by releasing some of their names.
“That was purposeful and malicious. No patriotic American should excuse these threats or be intimidated by them,” she said. “Our great nation must not be ruled by a mob provoked over social media.”
As Cheney issued a dire warning in Jackson, Hageman, at her victory rally hours east in Cheyenne, thanked Trump and congressional Republicans for their support, saying: “What Wyoming has shown today is that while it may not be easy, we can dislodge entrenched politicians who believe they’ve risen above the people they are supposed to represent and serve.”
Meanwhile, Trump crowed over Cheney’s loss, calling it “a wonderful result for America,” before denouncing her as “spiteful” and “sanctimonious” in a post to his own social media platform.