By STEVE PEOPLES and MEAD GRUVER
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, Donald Trump’s fiercest Republican adversary in Congress, soundly lost a GOP primary, falling to a rival backed by the former president in a rout that reinforced his grip on the party’s base.
The third-term congresswoman and her allies entered Tuesday downbeat about her prospects, aware that Trump’s backing gave Harriet Hageman considerable lift in the state where he won by the largest margin during the 2020 campaign. Cheney was already looking ahead to a political future beyond Capitol Hill that could include a 2024 presidential run, potentially putting her on another collision course with Trump.
On Wednesday, calling Trump “a very grave threat and risk to our republic,” she told NBC that she thinks that defeating him will require “a broad and united front of Republicans, Democrats and independents — and that’s what I intend to be part of.” She declined to say if she would run for president but conceded it’s “something that I’m thinking about.”
Cheney described her primary loss on Tuesday night as the beginning of a new chapter in her political career as she addressed a small collection of supporters, including her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, on the edge of a vast field flanked by mountains and bales of hay.
“Our work is far from over,” she said, evoking Abraham Lincoln, who also lost congressional elections before ascending to the presidency and preserving the union.