For the last year or so, many political pundits believed that former Wyoming Representative Liz Cheney might actually run for president in an attempt to challenge Donald Trump in the Republican primary.
In recent weeks, a new rumor emerged – that Cheney might actually consider running for president as a third-party candidate. Some speculated her third-party run would be so that she could get around having to face off against Trump in a primary election and hop right to the general election against (presumably) him and the Democratic nominee.
Being a third-party candidate would also give Cheney a longer platform as a political candidate as a result.
But, speaking with “NBC Nightly News” anchor Lester Holt at the Aspen Ideas Festival earlier this week, Cheney wasn’t very committed as to whether she would run for president in 2024 or not.
She did seem to drop a hint, though, that she was leaning heavily toward staying out of the 2024 presidential race entirely – at least as a candidate. As she said:
“I’m not going to do anything that helps Donald Trump, and I think that I’ll make a decision about what I do and what comes next later this year.”
That comment about not helping Trump shows that Cheney is probably thinking about not running for president. After all, the difference between Trump’s win in 2016 and his loss in 2020 was the third-party vote.
In 2016, there was a much larger share of votes going to a third-party candidate than there was in 2020, and that directly led to Trump getting elected. So, read between the lines, and one could see how Cheney would be thinking that she wants to draw votes away from Trump, but not as a third-party candidate, because she’d inadvertently be helping him.
Cheney also told Holt:
“I’m not announcing anything here today, Lester. But, the way I’m thinking about where we are and what has to be done is much less about what should I do in terms of am I going to be a candidate or not and much more about stopping Donald Trump whatever that takes. But, also helping elect other good candidates down-ballot.”
If nothing else, Cheney is a die-hard Republican. She has long roots in the GOP establishment, as her father was vice president to George W. Bush.
And while she has been an outspoken critic of Trump, his followers and some other members of the Republican Party, Cheney still considers herself a conservative through and through.
That’s why it sounds like she’s going to play an important role in the 2024 election, but as a supporter for Republican candidates who she thinks is worthy.
Cheney has never held back from what she thinks about the current state of politics, and she continued that at the Aspen event this week. She told Holt:
“I think the country right now faces hugely challenging and fundamentally important issues. What we’ve done in our politics is create a situation where we’re electing idiots.”