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In February, Gallagher said Cheney is “unafraid to clearly state and defend her views even if they are unpopular. As we figure out where Republicans go from here, we need Liz’s leadership.”
In May he joined his other four Republican U.S. House colleagues in voting to oust Cheney.
On May 12, 2021, U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyoming, was ousted from her position as chair of the House Republican Conference -- the No. 3 job in the caucus -- in a closed-door meeting.
The move followed months of consternation among House Republicans, after Cheney repeatedly rebuked former President Donald Trump for his false claims of 2020 election fraud and his role in inciting the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.
Most of Wisconsin’s Republican members of Congress have been consistent in their views on Cheney, including whether she should or shouldn’t be in the role.
Not U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher, who represents the Green Bay area.
That makes this a perfect candidate for our Flip-O-Meter, which always comes with this requisite reminder: We’re evaluating whether a politician has been consistent in his or her position, not whether any change in position makes for smart politics.
Has Gallagher been consistent on the question of whether Cheney should hold a leadership role?
No. Far from it.
In February, Gallagher not only backed Cheney but was very public in his support for her on what was a secret ballot. Cheney easily survived that challenge, which was prompted by her vote to impeach Trump for his role in the storming of the Capitol.
"First, let’s be candid. President Donald Trump bears responsibility for the tragic events of Jan. 6, " Gallagher wrote in a Jan. 13, 2021 Madison.com opinion piece. "He lied to his supporters, insisted that his ‘sacred landslide’ election was stolen, and suggested that Vice President Mike Pence should or even could reverse the outcome. He then dithered for hours as the vice president, the Congress and its employees were in mortal danger, castigating Pence as a coward."
In a statement prior to the vote, Gallagher praised Cheney as a "principled conservative and our most passionate advocate for American primacy" and added:
"She is also unafraid to clearly state and defend her views even if they are unpopular. As we figure out where Republicans go from here, we need Liz’s leadership. We must be a big tent party or else condemn ourselves to irrelevance."
On May 11, 2021, the day before the vote on Cheney, four of Wisconsin’s five Republican U.S. House members indicated that they would vote to oust her from her position.
That included Gallagher, who had this to say in a statement:
"House Democrats under Speaker Pelosi have been ruthless in advancing their radical progressive agenda, and Rep. Cheney can no longer unify the House Republican conference in opposition to that agenda. We need to take back the House in 2022 and permanently retire Pelosi."
Following the vote, Cheney said: "We cannot let the former president drag us backward and make us complicit in his efforts to unravel our democracy. Down that path lies our destruction, and potentially the destruction of our country."
Cheney also said that if Trump tries to run again, "I will do everything I can to ensure that the former president never again gets anywhere near the Oval Office."
Trump, in a statement, called Cheney "a bitter, horrible human being."
But that battle -- Trump vs. Cheney -- has been consistent.
What hasn’t been consistent is Gallagher’s position on Cheney in caucus leadership.
In February, Gallagher praised Cheney as a "principled conservative and our most passionate advocate for American primacy" and said "we must be a big tent party or else condemn ourselves to irrelevance."
Three months later, he declared Cheney should no longer hold her position.
That’s a complete change in position, or as we call it, a Full Flop.
The Wall Street Journal "House Republicans Oust Liz Cheney From Leadership in a Voice Vote," May 12, 2021.
The Associated Press "House GOP ousts Trump critic Liz Cheney from top post," May 12, 2021.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel "Wisconsin Republicans in Congress will vote to oust Liz Cheney from GOP leadership after her rebukes of Trump," May 11, 2021
Madison.com, "Mike Gallagher: Why I voted against impeachment," Jan. 13, 2021.
NBC News "Cheney defiant as Republicans oust her from leadership for rebuking Trump," May 12, 2021.
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