In his column for the Daily Beast, conservative Matt Lewis suggested that Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) could do major damage to Donald Trump as he ramps up his efforts to run for a second term in 2024.
While conceding that Trump is the odds-on favorite to be the GOP's nominee for the third time in 2024 -- health and legal problems permitting -- Lewis states that the two Republicans bring skills to the battle with Trump that other Republicans lack and that they have a knack for getting under Trump's "thin skin."
Lewis -- who parted ways with the GOP because of Trump -- wrote, "People who view Trump as an existential threat to our democracy should explore every possible way of derailing his candidacy. Everyone assumes Trump would coast to the Republican nomination—and maybe he will. But Cheney and Christie both have the potential to pose a more formidable challenge, and less convenient foils, than any of the candidates Trump rolled over on his way to the presidency in 2016," before adding, "For one thing, they won't be surprised by him this time. For another—and this is key—they can talk."
Regarding Christie he explained, "Running against Trump requires the kind of quick wit and sharp elbows that Christie seems to naturally possess," with GOP strategist Scott Reed concurring and adding, "He can throw a punch and he can take a punch."
Lewis adds, "But we also shouldn't sleep on Christie's electability argument. Trump (no matter what he says) did lose to Biden. What is more, Glenn Youngkin's win in Virginia proves that a non-Trump candidate can juice the Republican base and win back suburbanites. This is a point that Christie was hammering long before Youngkin's surge."
As for Cheney, he wrote that her "... toughness is likewise obvious. Can you imagine what it must have been like growing up in the same house as Dick and Lynne Cheney? By voting to impeach Trump and later serving on the January 6 Commission, Cheney demonstrated the type of stubborn political courage that is a prerequisite for this mission—should she choose to accept it."
According to the columnist, Cheney -- with her rock-solid conservative reputation -- may be dead set on doing as much damage as she can to Trump.
"Speaking of her mission, I'm assuming it would be to damage Trump (rather than to actually win the nomination). Anyone who remembers the way Christie destroyed Marco Rubio in that 2016 "murder-suicide" debate maneuver knows that if you're willing to trade your political life for your opponents', you become a very dangerous individual," he wrote while adding that may have the added benefit of helping her hold onto her seat in the 2022 midterms.
"There are too many variables to know for certain how this might play out (for example, would Cheney steal votes from Christie, which ironically would serve to help Trump)? The stakes are incredibly high," he added before concluding, "Liz Cheney and Chris Christie might actually be our best chance to lock the door and throw away the key."
You can read more here.