Banks, an Afghanistan war veteran who has aligned himself closely with Trump, has raised his profile since taking the helm of the Conservative caucus earlier this year. And the 41-year-old media scholar makes it clear that he views his RSC’s communications workshop as superior to the official conference center led by Cheney. The banks described it as “filling a void”.
“We’re in the minority, and it’s a battle of messages as much as a political battle,” Banks told POLITICO in an interview. “RSC provides this framework better than anyone on Capitol Hill.”
But replacing the top woman in the GOP leadership with Banks, or any other white man, could be a major optical problem for a party that has made recruiting more women and minorities a key part of the process. his strategy to win back the House next year. Banks also insists that he is focused on the RSC presidency and would rather see Cheney become a team player rather than gain the upper hand. Still, Banks’ attempt to give Cheney a big foot only fuels speculation that he is one of the best candidates to replace her – whether this month or in the next session of Congress.
“If there is a role to play, where I can continue to do what I do as president of the RSC, I want to do it,” Banks said, when asked if he would run. At the direction. “The most natural comparison to the RSC chair is the conference chair… and that’s something I think I would really appreciate, because that’s what I do now.
Cheney, once a fast rising star in the GOP praised for her sharp tongue and conservative credentials, became conference chairperson as a second-year Wyoming lawmaker. The 54-year-old mother of five was unanimously re-elected to the post in November.
And although Cheney publicly split from most of her party when she voted to impeach Trump, her allies say she continued to be successful in her leadership role by providing the conference with important messaging tools. . Under Cheney’s leadership, the GOP conference sent out emails every morning indicating that Congress was in session, in addition to a weekly email with shareable social media content focused on the implementation of the Biden’s agenda, according to sources who saw the communications.
But critics of Cheney, who tried unsuccessfully to oust him from management in February, are increasingly frustrated by his willingness to call Trump and his baseless claims about the 202 election. Days after he drew Attention during retirement, Cheney hit President Joe Biden ahead of his joint speech to Congress, which enraged the far right even more. Even high-ranking Republicans who backed her earlier this year, like House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, soured her.
A senior Republican lamented that some donors no longer contribute to the House GOP while Cheney is still at the helm. “It is a responsibility for us,” said the GOP lawmaker.
But even with his leadership work on the line, Cheney didn’t back down. “The 2020 presidential election was not stolen,” she tweeted on Monday. “Anyone who claims this is the case is spreading THE BIG LIE, turning their backs on the rule of law and poisoning our democratic system.”
The question of who can – or would – replace Cheney is an enigma that upset his detractors last time around. Besides Banks, two other Republicans considered serious contenders for the role are Rep. Elise Stefanik (NY), who won over the MAGA crowd defending Trump in his first impeachment, and Rep. Mike Johnson (La.), A former president of the RSC who now serves as vice-president of the conference. Other names floated to replace Cheney include Reps. Virginia Foxx (RN.C.) and Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.).
All potential candidates have voted to challenge certification of Biden’s victory in some states.
The banks, however, got high marks from McCarthy, and some Republicans believe the GOP leader prepared the banks for the job. The two became extremely close as they crisscrossed the country raising funds together, including in Banks’ hometown. And McCarthy, who stopped showing up at weekly press conferences with Cheney after awkwardly clashing with Trump on February 25, appeared with Banks on a panel at the Conservative Political Action Conference.