Rep. Liz Cheney Fist Bumps Biden; Will GOP Colleagues Take Issue? President Joe Biden greets Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., with a fist bump before addressing a joint session of congress in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol April 28, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Somodevilla/Getty Images)
By Charlie McCarthy | Thursday, 29 April 2021 07:54 AM
A fist bump from President Joe Biden on Wednesday night could intensify Rep. Liz Cheney's shaky relationship with some members of her party and conservatives.
Cheney, R-Wyo., interacted with Biden as he entered the House chamber for his first joint address to Congress, Politico reported.
To some Republicans, Cheney's fist bump with Biden might seem to be an attempt to cozy up to a president attempting to push his massive progressive agenda through Congress without bipartisan support.
Following the speech, Cheney tried to distance herself from Biden by issuing a statement saying the president's policies were "bad for Wyoming and bad for America."
"I will fight back against these dangerous plans and always stand up for the interests of our state and for the constitutional values that we hold dear," Cheney said.
Cheney, whose relationship with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., has chilled recently, drew intense criticism for voting to impeach former President Donald Trump in January.
McCarthy took aim at Cheney, the No. 3 House Republican, during a GOP House retreat in Orlando, Florida, last weekend.
"There’s a responsibility, if you’re gonna be in leadership, leaders eat last," McCarthy told Politico. "And when leaders try to go out, and not work as one team, it creates difficulties."
Cheney, chair of the House GOP Conference, said Monday she would not rule out a run for president in 2024, potentially pitting her against Trump. She also told the New York Post that she believed people who supported efforts to overturn the 2020 election results should be disqualified from the 2024 GOP presidential nomination.
"I think we have a huge number of interesting candidates, but I think that we’re going to be in a good position to be able to take the White House," she said. "I do think that some of our candidates who led the charge, particularly the senators who led the unconstitutional charge, not to certify the election, you know, in my view, that’s disqualifying."
McCarthy, however, took issue with her timing on discussing the topic, as the retreat aimed to unify House members.
"I think from a perspective if you're sitting here at a retreat that's focused on policy, focused on the future of making America the next century and you’re talking about something else, you’re not being productive," McCarthy told reporters Tuesday.
McCarthy defended Cheney in February against GOP House members who wanted to remove her from leadership after she voted to impeach Trump for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol assault.
"People can have differences of opinion. Liz has a right to vote her conscience. And at the end of the day, we’ll be united," McCarthy said then.
The two lawmakers insist they have a good working relationship, though they clashed on whether Trump should speak at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference. Since then, McCarthy has skipped Republican leadership's weekly press conferences with Cheney.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who also has been the target of criticism from Trump for not supporting efforts to challenge the election result, was seen shaking hands with Cheney at the president’s address.