Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) has won over former President Donald Trump, but has some work to do if she wants to get his base on her side.
Over the last several months, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the House Republican Conference chair, has criticized Trump over his role in inciting the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and pushed back at his false claims that the 2020 presidential election was rigged. She's likely about to be ousted from her position, and Stefanik is considered the frontrunner to replace her. Trump on Wednesday endorsed Stefanik, but not long after, some of his biggest supporters publicly expressed their doubts about the congresswoman.
Former Fox Business host Lou Dobbs dubbed her a "RINO," and Big League Politics, a site founded by former Breitbart employees, called her out for only recently backing Trump, saying she is a "wolf in sheep's clothing," Politico reports.
During Trump's impeachments, Stefanik was one of his loudest defenders, but prior to that, she spoke out against his decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord and was against his policies of separating migrant children from their families at the border, Politico reports. The American Conservative Union has given Stefanik a lifetime grade of 44 percent, compared to Cheney's lifetime grade of 78 percent. A look at her votes shows Stefanik sided with Trump 78 percent of the time, with Cheney several points higher at 93 percent.
Put all of this together and you have "the identity of a swamp creature," conservative political consultant Ryan James Girdusky told Politico. Girdusky isn't "a fan of Liz Cheney," he added, and believes she "should have never been in House leadership. However, we are exchanging Liz Cheney, who at least votes correct, even though she bashes Trump publicly, [for] somebody who doesn't bash Trump publicly but votes with them almost none of the time." Read more at Politico.