‘Girl, BYE!’ How a divided GOP reacted to Liz Cheney’s crushing primary defeat

‘Girl, BYE!’ How a divided GOP reacted to Liz Cheney’s crushing primary defeat
Dissident Republican denied party’s nomination for Congress after feeling the wrath of Trump

The political defenestration of Liz Cheney highlighted stark divisions in the Republican Party on Tuesday night as backers and opponents reacted to her defeat.

Donald Trump and his supporters had sought to punish Ms Cheney, the daughter of former Republican vice president Dick Cheney, for participating in the House of Representatives’ investigation into storming of the Capitol last year.

Late on Tuesday night they succeeded, stripping the Wyoming congresswoman and strident Trump critic of the Republican nomination for this year’s midterm elections.

“Liz Cheney should be ashamed of herself, the way she acted, and her spiteful, sanctimonious words and actions towards others,” Mr Trump said on his personal social network Truth Social.

“Now she can finally disappear into the depths of political oblivion where, I am sure, she will be much happier than she is right now.”

House GOP conference chairwoman Elise Stefanik branded Ms Cheney “Nancy Pelosi’s puppet”, while Colorado GOP congresswoman Lauren Boebert simply tweeted: “Girl, BYE!”

Ms Boebert’s far-right colleague Marjorie Taylor Greene joined the attack, tweeting: “A clear message is being sent about what the Republican Party needs to be. It’s not anything like liar Liz Cheney, who is nothing like Abraham Lincoln.”

Those words were a reference to Ms Cheney’s fiery concession speech, in which she compared herself to Lincoln and warned that Mr Trump’s “poisonous lies” put the whole country in peril.

“Two years ago I won this primary with 73 per cent of the vote. I could’ve done so again. The path was clear. But it would’ve required that I went along with President Trump’s lie about the 2020 election,” she said.

Meanwhile, Ms Cheney’s allies in the Republican party offered praise and consolation. “This is the beginning, not the end for Liz Cheney. I stand with Liz,” said Alyssa Farah Griffin, a former aide to both Mr Trump and his vice president Mike Pence.

“Thank you Liz Cheney,” said Olivia Troye, a former counter-terrorism aide to Mr Pence.

Longtime Republican political consultant Tim Miller slammed Ms Cheney’s victorious opponent, Harriet Hageman, for resisting Mr Trump’s rise in 2016 only to later declare her “unequivocal support for Trump’s attempt to become an unelected autocrat”.

Before polls closed, Republican senator Lisa Murkowski had told NBC News that the GOP “should [not] be the party of one individual”, saying her colleagues’ die-hard support for Mr Trump would “leave behind a lot of Americans”.