‘Liz Cheney is absolutely right’: Charlie Baker says after leadership vote

Gov. Charlie Baker says Rep. Liz Cheney was “absolutely right” to speak out against fellow Republicans’ attempts to sow doubt in the 2020 presidential election results, even if it resulted in the Wyoming congresswoman losing her position in the GOP’s congressional leadership.

Hours after House Republicans voted Cheney out of her No. 3 post Wednesday morning, Baker was asked about her defiant speech warning that some GOP members were leading the party down a path that “abandons the rule of law” and joins former President Donald Trump’s “crusade to undermine our democracy.”

“I made very clear that I felt the election process that took place back in November was fair and that President Joe Biden won the election,” Baker said. “And on those issues, I believe, Liz Cheney is absolutely right.”

Cheney was among a small group of Republicans who vote to impeach Trump this winter for pushing repeatedly debunked claims of widespread election fraud in the run-up to the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. Baker has similarly called the efforts by Trump and his Republican allies to challenge the election results an “affront to democracy” and blamed Trump for the violence at the Capitol.

While some high-profile Republicans — including former GOP governors — are threatening to leave the party citing its fealty to Trump’s election falsehoods, Baker says he has no plans to ditch and still believes in “what the party fundamentally stands for” — or at least “what I believe it stands for.”

“I’ve had my differences, as everybody knows, with plenty of folks in the party over the course of the time that I’ve been in public life,” said Baker, a moderate Republican who often criticizes the degree of political polarization in Washington, D.C., later adding that “governors tend to be a lot less partisan.”

Baker noted that there had been a “tremendous amount” of formal and informal collaboration between governors during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“One of the things I like about about playing this role, as governor, is the fact that most governors will pick up the phone when you call them and help you try to solve whatever problem it is you’re trying to solve — and vice versa — because we have a lot of commonality on that,” he said. “And I think in some ways it’s something I wish there was a lot more of at the federal level.”

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