CNN reported it as a “blink and you’ll miss it” moment — it was the one where President Joe Biden fist-bumped Republican House member Liz Cheney as he walked toward the podium Wednesday night to deliver his address to Congress. The image was even shared on social media and played in a loop, which — depending on where you sit politically — could prove that bipartisanship still exists, or be a reason to call out Cheney, who represents Wyoming, as a traitor to the GOP cause.
While, as CNN’s Chris Cillizza points out, the president didn’t single Cheney out, as she was one of 20-odd people that had gotten the Biden fist-bump as he walked to the front of the House chamber, the moment generated an image that Cheney might have a problem living down, particularly among those loyal to former President Donald Trump.
Sure enough, the Wyoming representative (and former GOP Vice President Dick Cheney’s daughter) ended up on social media having to address the encounter, saying: “I disagree strongly w/@JoeBiden policies, but when the President reaches out to greet me in the chamber of the US House of Representatives, I will always respond in a civil, respectful & dignified way. We’re different political parties. We’re not sworn enemies. We’re Americans.”
Liz Cheney's tweet was a lightning rod for both supporters and critics
Liz Cheney’s tweet, which gained more than 70 thousand likes on Twitter, drew both messages of support and condemnation, and they depended largely on where you sat on today’s political spectrum. Several members of the Twitterati were firmly in Cheney’s corner. One person addressed the GOP House No. 3 leader, saying, “Thank you so much for your leadership. I was a former lifelong republican who left the party after the first impeachment. I am 66 years old and live in rural PA. Jan. 6th changed me, what I saw, what I felt. We are all Americans and we appreciate your voice.” Another called it the way he saw it by tweeting, “You don’t need to put out a statement explaining this. Non-crazy people understand that.”
As it turns out, there was a reason for Liz Cheney’s need to explain herself. While she has a strong voting record which supports the GOP’s policies, she put herself in the former president’s crosshairs by voting to impeach him after the January 6 insurrection (via CNN).
This explains why one Trump surrogate didn’t hold back, tweeting in response, “You’re an absolute DISGRACE. Thankfully the good citizens of Wyoming agree and will boot your a** out of office soon.”
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