GOP Leader McCarthy: Cheney Primary Is a Jan. 6 Panel 'Referendum' Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo. (Bill Clark/AP)
By Eric Mack | Monday, 15 August 2022 10:08 PM EDT
Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., is a 29-point underdog in a final poll before Tuesday's GOP primary and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said her loss will be a "referendum" on the House Jan. 6 Select Committee.
"I don't think that she’s going to win," McCarthy told Fox News from Wyoming, as he was campaigning for Cheney's challenger – runaway polling leader – Harriet Hageman. "I think it's going to be a referendum on the Jan. 6 committee."
Cheney defied her party after McCarthy pulled Republican nominations for the committee because House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., rejected Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind.
Cheney and Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., both have long been anti-Donald Trump Republicans, joined the committee outside of McCarthy's blessing.
McCarthy denounced Cheney for neglecting her Wyoming constituents to put her time and focus on "one individual."
"I think our whole focus has been different," McCarthy told Fox News. "Our whole focus has been against one individual whether she has information or not, instead of focusing on her district itself."
Cheney was one of 10 House Republicans to vote to impeach Trump after he left office, and she has been serving as the anti-Trump committee's vice chairwoman. Just a couple of House Republican members made it through primary challenges and remain in the running for reelection this November: Reps. Dan Newhouse, R-Wash., and Rep. David Valadao, R-Calif.
In both those blue states, "jungle" primaries pitted Democrats against Republicans and advanced the top two candidates, barely, over Trump-endorsed challengers in traditionally Republican-held districts.
McCarthy expressed confidence in the GOP in the midterms.
"We'll win the majority, and I'll be speaker," McCarthy told Fox News.