Liz Cheney Announces Bid for GOP Leadership Position

Wyoming congresswoman to challenge McMorris Rodgers for House Republican Conference chair

Rep. Liz Cheney / Facebook

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Rep. Liz Cheney (R., Wyo.) announced her candidacy for House Republican Conference chair on Wednesday morning. 

In a letter sent to colleagues in the House of Representatives, Cheney championed revamped Republican messaging, a developed ground game, and a switch to the offensive in the face of attacks from Democrats.

Cheney is challenging Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R., Wash.) for the position. McMorris Rodgers won reelection last night, defeating Democrat Lisa Brown. The Wyoming Republican is former Vice President Dick Cheney’s eldest daughter and a former State Department official. She has held Wyoming’s at-large congressional seat since winning election in 2016.

Cheney pointed to Republican losses in the midterm elections under McMorris Rodgers' chairmanship as proof of messaging failures. "Despite the tremendous success of the Trump economy, tax cuts, historic regulatory reform, and crucial efforts to begin rebuilding our military and restoring American strength and power," she wrote, "we will be in the minority in the 116th Congress."

She called for an overhaul of how Republicans plot their course in the public eye. "We need to be able to drive our message across all platforms.  We need to own the daily news cycles.  We need to lead and win the messaging wars."  

"The Democrats have told us what they plan to do with the majority. Every member of our conference must be armed and ready to go on offense," she added. "We must also have an effective rapid response operation – deploying immediate rebuttals and prebuttals to the Democrats’ false claims."

Cheney stressed the need to "win the communications battle every day" in order to regain the initiative in the near-term, and the majority in the long-term. "I want to lead the effort to build a new and effective House GOP communications operation," she wrote.

She laid out 10 steps for Republicans in the House to succeed, most focused on dominating "social media, print and radio," which she said will allow Republicans to "[d]rive messaging … and effectively rebut Democrat false claims." Cheney also called for better transparency and communication with the press, something she said will allow the public to understand "what’s happening in our hearing rooms and on the House floor."  If Republicans execute properly, they should be able to "[w]in the daily news cycle," and spread their message to the American people.

"I am asking for your support to be House Republican Conference Chair because I know we can and must prevail," she concluded.

Read Cheney's letter in full:

Last night did not turn out as we had hoped. Many of our colleagues, good men and women fighting for the future of our nation, lost close races. A number of races have yet to be decided. We need to do all we can for those colleagues. Today, the next battle begins.

Although the 115th Congress has been one of the most productive in history, our message isn’t breaking through. Despite the tremendous success of the Trump economy, tax cuts, historic regulatory reform, and crucial efforts to begin rebuilding our military and restoring American strength and power, we will be in the minority in the 116th Congress. For us to prevail in this new environment, we must fundamentally overhaul and modernize our House GOP communications operation.

We need to be able to drive our message across all platforms. We need to own the daily news cycles. We need to lead and win the messaging wars. Too often we have found ourselves playing catch up without access to useful information, and we have not been on offense. Constantly playing defense in the battle of communications is a recipe for failure. We need to work as a team to use all our messaging tools to drive our agenda. The Democrats have told us what they plan to do with the majority. Every member of our conference must be armed and ready to go on offense. We must also have an effective rapid response operation – deploying immediate rebuttals and prebuttals to the Democrats’ false claims.

I am asking for your support to be House Republican Conference Chair because I know we can and must prevail, and I want to lead the effort to build a new and effective House GOP communications operation.

To meet the challenges of the next two years, our House GOP Conference must:

1. Drive messaging and be on offense;

2. Win the daily news cycle;

3. Provide Members messaging and communication information that is relevant, timely and impactful;

4. Aggressively and effectively rebut Democrat false claims;

5. Provide media training, including social media training, for members and their staffs;

6. Establish, train and deploy teams of members organized around key topics and areas of expertise;

7. Implement an effective and efficient booking operation to get members on air every day on every key show and outlet. We need to blanket the airwaves and dominate social media, print and radio;

8. Create echo chambers for our message by building coalitions with outside groups that share our House GOP goals;

9. Build platforms to more effectively push out to the media what’s happening in our hearing rooms and on the House floor;

10. Provide better more substantive information to all members, tailored to individual districts, as well as conveying our overall messaging.

We are serving in this House at a hinge point in history. The next two years will shape the key issues of our time, and for many years to come. We have a duty to ensure our ideals and policies prevail. This is a fight we can and must win. We can’t do that without our House Republican Conference leading the way to win the communications battle every day.

I’m asking for your vote for Republican Conference Chair. I’m grateful for the thoughts and ideas many of you have shared with me already, and I look forward to speaking with everyone in the next few days.

Mikhael Smits

Mikhael Smits   Email Mikhael | Full Bio | RSS
Mikhael Smits is a Public Interest Fellow and Media Analyst at the Washington Free Beacon. He's interested in law, security policy, and today's outrage. Reach him on Twitter @mikhaelsmits or smits@freebeacon.com.

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