On Wednesday, Congressman Chip Roy would not rule out running for the GOP leadership position left in the wake of former chairwoman Liz Cheney being ousted by her own party on Wednesday.
Mere hours after Cheney was pushed out for constantly criticizing former President Donald Trump, Roy was asked if he had any desire to become the next House Republican Conference chair.
Roy had previously criticized the choice of Elise Stefanik as a replacement, arguing that she was too liberal. Some conservatives agree.
“We’re here to talk about other topics but I will say this, (New House GOP Chair Rep. Elise Stefanik) should have an opponent,” Roy said at a press conference.
Stefanik is one of Congress’s youngest members. Her influence began to rise in the GOP during the first impeachment trial, as many began to see her as the natural successor to an increasingly unpopular Liz Cheney.
“I don’t believe there should be a coronation,” Roy told reporters on Wednesday.
“I believe that if the [House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy wants us to be united, then he should take the time to do this the right way,” Roy added.
Before Cheney’s removal and Stefanik stepping into that role, Roy and other conservatives were already sounding the alarm that the new presumed House Chair was too liberal.
The Political Insider reported on Tuesday, “With the vote to oust Congresswoman Liz Cheney from House Republican leadership looming, one conservative House Freedom Caucus member circulated a memo to every GOP office claiming that her presumed successor, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik isn’t much different from a Democrat.”
“On Tuesday, Congressman Chip Roy sent a memo asking the House Republican conference to reconsider Stefanik, citing her voting record, and encouraging Republicans to choose someone more conservative,” The Political Insider noted.
Multiple news outlets on Wednesday speculated that the Texas Republican already had his sights set on challenging Stefanik for her leadership seat.
And while the media regularly portrays Stefanik as hyper loyal to Donald Trump, and she even secured the endorsement of Trump himself, conservative critics have pointed out that she has regularly opposed Trump’s main platform issues.
For example, Stefanik opposes the border wall.
NPR put together a list of Stefanik’s attacks on core Trump positions. Besides opposing the wall, she attacked Trump’s position on NATO and implied he was soft on Putin.
She opposed Trump’s move to block immigration from terror-heavy Middle East countries.
She attacked Trump for allegedly describing some third-world nations as “sh&thole countries.”
Stefanik told the Post-Star that “I disagree with his (Trump) position on Russia. I believe that Russia is an adversary,” Stefanik said. “In terms of Russia’s use of cyberattacks, in terms of Russia’s use of information operation and influence campaigns, I’m deeply concerned.”
Further, she backed the so-called Mueller investigation: “I disagree on his (Trump) attacks on law enforcement and the Department of Justice. I have confidence in the Mueller investigation. I have repeatedly and explicitly said that I support the Mueller investigation.”
Stefanik opposed Trump’s efforts to replace NAFTA, and is a proponent of comprehensive immigration reform – which conservative critics, along with Trump, argue is little more than amnesty.
It seems Roy may have a point.
When asked about the potential for a challenge from Roy, Stefanik told reportes on Wednesday, “We have a great support conference-wide.”
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