EAST LANSING, Mich. – Republican Rep. Liz Cheney visited Michigan on Tuesday to support Democratic Rep. Elissa Slotkin, who the the Wyoming representative crossed party lines to endorse last week in a first.
“If we want to ensure the survival of our republic, we have to walk away from politics as usual,” Cheney said. “We have to stand up, every one of us, and say we’re going to do what’s right for this country. We’re going to look beyond partisan politics.”
Slotkin is a two-term House member competing against Republican state Sen. Tom Barrett in Michigan's redrawn 7th Congressional District, which includes Lansing. The contest is among the most expensive House races in the country and is considered a toss-up.
Slotkin, who described herself as a Democrat representing a Trump-voting district, told reporters that Cheney approached her last month on the House floor about the possible endorsement. Slotkin acknowledged during her speech that the two differ on most policy issues, joking that the last time Cheney was in the area was to counter something the Lansing-area Democrat was doing.
“But there is one really, really big thing we agree on and that is preserving the American democracy,” Slotkin said.
Cheney’s visit to the battleground state comes as she considers a 2024 presidential run after losing her primary earlier this year. Cheney was one of eight House Republicans who lost primaries or chose not to seek reelection after voting to impeach former President Donald Trump in 2020.
In her endorsement last week, Cheney mentioned that she's become acquainted with Slotkin while serving together on the House Armed Services Committee. Slotkin also worked in U.S. intelligence, national security and defense during the Obama and Bush administrations.
Cheney said that this was the first time she has ever campaigned for a Democrat but that “it was not a hard decision at all."
Both have been vocal critics of House Republicans who have sought to downplay the siege of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Cheney is vice chair of the House Jan. 6 committee, which recently issued a subpoena for Trump to testify.
“As a nation today, we are facing an ongoing assault by the former president and by people that are spreading his lie," Cheney said Tuesday.
Following Cheney's endorsement last week, her primary opponent Harriet Hageman and former U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard both announced that they were supporting Barrett in the Lansing-area race.
Barrett criticized Cheney during an event Tuesday morning for having the “audacity” to endorse his opponent in a critical race that will “decide which party controls Congress.”
“Elissa Slotkin and Liz Cheney prove that the political establishment has an unquenchable thirst for military engagement abroad,” Barrett said during the Howell event.
Joey Cappelletti is a corps member for The Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.