Cheney vows to continue election lie fight, sparks 2024 fodder in concession: The Note

The Wyoming lawmaker insisted that she wasn't finished, despite her defeat.

August 17, 2022, 6:01 AM

The TAKE with Averi Harper

The outcome of the most anticipated primary has arrived with a predictable result: Rep. Liz Cheney -- staunch conservative, daughter of a vice president revered in many conservative circles -- has been given the axe by members of her own party in her home state.

In her concession speech on Tuesday night, which sounded more like a rallying cry against the "big lie" about the 2020 election, Cheney insisted that while her days in Congress were numbered, she wasn't finished.

“Let us resolve that we will stand together, Republicans, Democrats and independents, against those who would destroy our republic,” she told supporters.

The now-defeated congresswoman laid out in her remarks what she described as the ongoing threat of election deniers on the ballot for various offices across the country heading into November.

Her speech, complete with a reference to elections lost by Abraham Lincoln before he became president, has only fueled questions about if she will run for president in 2024. (She previously said she hasn’t ruled it out.)

"The great and original champion of our party, Abraham Lincoln, was defeated in elections for the Senate and House before he won the most important election of all. Lincoln ultimately prevailed," Cheney said. "He saved our union, and he defined our obligation as Americans for all of history."

But if she does decide to launch her own presidential bid, she would still have her work cut out for her as a member of this current GOP, the same party that ousted her from leadership and now her office.

Harriet Hageman, an attorney and 2020 election denier backed by Trump, will likely head to Washington in her place.

“By our vote today, Wyoming has put the elites on notice -- we are no longer going to tolerate representatives who don’t represent us,” Hageman said in remarks celebrating her primary win.

Representative Liz Cheney, arrives for hearing at the Capitol in Washington, July 12, 2022.
Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images, FILE

The RUNDOWN with Alisa Wiersema

Democrats celebrated a landmark achievement Tuesday as Joe Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law. The president -- flanked by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and moderate Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, together in a signal of party unity -- struck a resolute tone in mapping out the significance of the legislation just three months ahead of the midterm elections.

“Look, the bill I'm about to sign is not just about today. It's about tomorrow. It's about delivering progress and prosperity to American families. It's about showing the American and the American people that democracy still works in America,” Biden said.

The sweeping package -- which passed despite unanimous Republican opposition -- aims to target several high-priority Democratic-backed endeavors, including bolstering funds for fighting climate change and investing in clean energy production as well as making prescription drugs and health insurance cheaper.

However, the party's rally around the IRA comes after months of struggles among Democrats to move on a cohesive piece of tax and spending legislation, and the final product ultimately does not include many social policies that were originally backed by the president.

"Every single Republican in Congress voted against lowering prescription drug prices, against lowering health care costs, against the fair tax system. Every single Republican. Every single one!” Biden said Tuesday.

The president’s swipe across the aisle is likely a preface for the kind of rhetoric Democrats will espouse on the campaign trail in the coming months. As reported by ABC News’ Benjamin Gittleson, the Biden administration has planned a cross-country rollout campaign for the legislation. Starting this month, Cabinet members plan to travel to 23 states, on more than 35 trips, to tout the IRA, according to the White House.

In the meantime, Republicans appear to be anticipating the jabs and are laying the groundwork to shift attention to other policies.

"The American people are clear about their priorities. Environmental regulation is a 3% issue. Americans want solutions for inflation, crime, and the border,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement.

President Joe Biden speaks during a signing ceremony for H.R. 5376, the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, in the State Dining Room of the White House, Aug. 16, 2022.
Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

The TIP with Abby Cruz

Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O'Rourke on Tuesday had choice words for his opponent, Republican incumbent Greg Abbott, who has been sending migrants from the southern border via buses to other cities in protest of "the crisis" he argues Democrats caused.

Two weeks ago, Abbott spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and told the crowd, “I got one thing to tell you and to them: There are more buses on the way as we gather at this conference today.” The next day, he sent the first bus of migrants to New York City.

"Because of President Biden’s continued refusal to acknowledge the crisis caused by his open border policies, the State of Texas has had to take unprecedented action to keep our communities safe," Abbott said in a press release at the time.

Since April, the governor has also sent buses carrying what his team said is more than 6,000 migrants to Washington, D.C, in what he calls a message to President Joe Biden.

Tuesday, during a 49-day campaign tour of Texas, O'Rourke was asked if he had spoken to a migrant on one of the buses. O'Rourke said he believes the people on the buses are political props.

“Bussing migrants to D.C. or New York, who might have wanted to go to those communities anyhow, because it gets them closer to their next destination, who may have been tricked into getting on those buses -- it's a stunt,” he said.

“And the Texas taxpayers are splitting the bill at the end of the day, and it gets us no closer to the solution that we really need,” he said.

Told that migrants have said they are thankful for their bus tickets, helping them travel in America, O'Rourke said Abbott was not fixing the problem.

“For as long as this remains unsolved, people like Greg Abbott will use it as an issue to distract people from other legitimate concerns or to vilify or to demonize immigrants as he has done," he said.

O'Rourke, a former representative for El Paso, announced last fall that he was seeking to challenge Abbott. He previously ran to unseat Republican Sen. Ted Cruz but lost in 2018; he then went on to unsuccessfully seek the Democratic nomination for president in 2020.

He plans to continue to hold 70 public events in more than 65 counties in the lead up to November's election.

Beto O'Rourke, Democratic gubernatorial candidate for Texas, speaks during a campaign event in Bastrop, Texas, Aug. 5, 2022.
Jordan Vonderhaar/Bloomberg via Getty Images

NUMBER OF THE DAY, powered by FiveThirtyEight

2. That’s the number of House Republicans who voted to impeach former President Trump who advanced in their primaries this cycle. What’s more, of the six Republicans who sought reelection -- four others retired -- not a single one won a majority of the vote in their primaries. As FiveThirtyEight’s Geoffrey Skelley writes in his reaction to Rep. Cheney’s loss, voting to impeach the former president is a bridge too far for most Republican voters.


ABC News' "Start Here" Podcast. "Start Here" begins Wednesday morning with ABC’s Alexis Christoforous on the newly signed Inflation Reduction Act. Then, ABC’s Stephanie Ebbs explains new water cuts coming to the Southwest as the Colorado River shortage deepens. And former FBI special agent and current ABC News contributor Brad Garrett breaks down what would happen if the FBI were defunded.


  • Former Vice President Mike Pence, a rumored 2024 Republican presidential hopeful, speaks at as part of the Politics & Eggs events in New Hampshire.

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The Note is a daily ABC News feature that highlights the day's top stories in politics. Please check back Thursday for the latest.

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