Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker on Wednesday said Rep. Liz Chaney was right to rebuke former President Donald Trump for his false claims of election fraud, after she was ousted from her post as the chamber’s No. 3 GOP leader earlier in the day.
"I made very clear that I felt the election process that took place back in November was fair and that President Joe Biden won the election," Baker said after touring Moderna's Norwood facility. "On those issues I believe Liz Cheney is absolutely right."
Meeting behind closed doors for less than 20 minutes, GOP lawmakers earlier in the day used a voice vote to remove the Wyoming congresswoman from her leadership post, the latest evidence that challenging Trump can be career-threatening for a Republican, even one from party royalty.
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A daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, the congresswoman is an old-school Republican establishment pillar, and her demotion stands as a striking, perhaps defining moment for the GOP.
Baker said he would stick with his political beliefs, despite the turmoil.
"I've been a Republican since I was 20 years old, and I continue to believe what I consider to be the sort of core values of the party," he said. "I've had my differences, as everybody knows with plenty of folks in the party of the course of the time I've been in public life.
"I'm a big believer in what the party fundamentally stands for, based on what I believe it stands for."
On Wednesday, both inside the private meeting and later to reporters, a defiant Cheney made clear that she would own her banishment from leadership’s ranks as a badge of honor and try to steer the party away from a former president she considers a threat to democracy.
“If you want leaders who will enable and spread his destructive lies, I’m not your person,” she told her colleagues before the vote, according to a person who provided her remarks only on condition of anonymity. “You have plenty of others to choose from. That will be their legacy.”
One of the nation’s two major parties was in effect declaring an extraordinary requirement for admission to its highest ranks: fealty to, or at least silence about, Trump’s lie that he lost his November reelection bid due to widespread fraud. In states around the country, officials and judges of both parties found no evidence to support Trump’s claims that extensive illegalities caused his defeat.