As ordinary Americans faced a fear of inflation and fuel shortages, cable news networks remained largely focused on the congressional melodrama surrounding the GOP decision to oust anti-Trump U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) from her leadership position this week.
Even Fox News devoted significant attention to the vote, including in an interview during which anchor Bret Baier grilled Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on the decision.
“A good decision”
Of course, McConnell is no Trump ally and signaled that he is prepared to turn the page on the Trump era within his party.
Nevertheless, Baier pressed him to reconcile his prior statements of support for Cheney with his party-line stance since her ouster.
According to Mediaite, Baier asked if McConnell thought it was “a good decision” to remove Cheney as GOP conference chair, to which the Senate leader declared that he was a “great admirer of hers” but would defer to House leadership on the matter and focus on addressing the “hard-left” agenda being pushed by the Biden administration.
The host then read from a recent Cheney statement claiming that Trump “risks inciting further violence” by maintaining that he was robbed of a victory in November’s election.
“Is there anything that she said that you disagree with there?” Baier asked.
“Try one more time”
McConnell apparently grew frustrated, asserting: “I don’t know how many times I have to tell you, I’m focusing on dealing with the conditions we find ourselves in now.”
Cheney’s ouster was expected after she alienated other GOP leaders including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and her conservative base, with many in her party determining that her anti-Trump rhetoric had become a distraction ahead of next year’s midterm elections.
McConnell continued defending his position as Baier asked him if the party can “move on…without dealing with the former president and what he puts out day to day about the election.”
The back-and-forth conversation spanned roughly three minutes until the host said he would “try one more time” to elicit a direct response.
“You are saying the focus is not on the past, but you are using the former president’s name, and Republicans are, to raise money for 2022,” Baier said, prompting his guest to declare that he is “in the Senate business,” not the “money-raising business.”