MSNBC's Charlie Sykes slammed House minority leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)'s "profoundly stupid" political war against Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY).
The California Republican backed the removal of Cheney as GOP conference chair as punishment for her disloyalty to Donald Trump, and the conservative Sykes said the episode demonstrated the lowly depths to which the party has sunk under the control of the twice-impeached one-term president.
"It all came together yesterday," Sykes told "Morning Joe." "I mean, what happened with Liz Cheney by the Republican caucus was cowardly. It was dishonest, and it was politically stupid, and Kevin McCarthy is now deciding that his best strategy is to lie about the lie. The contrast between Liz Cheney standing on principle, not backing down, is extraordinary."
"I'm just so struck by the fact that you have, you know, this congressman from Georgia who says, what happened on Jan. 6 was just tourists, you know, peacefully walking through the Capitol," Sykes added. "They're not going to sanction him, there's no controversy within the Republican caucus about him. But Liz Cheney, who has said, do not whitewash the insurrection, who has said, the election was legitimate, was thrown out. They did not have the courage, either to show up and listen to her final speech on the floor of the House, which was remarkable, they did not have the courage to have an open vote or to have a recorded vote. That was cowardly, and it was profoundly stupid."
Sykes said the minority leader had ceded the political debate to Democrats on the issues and instead kept Trump's election lies as the GOP's top priority.
"A serious party would have been talking about some of the issues facing the country yesterday, and instead, what is Kevin McCarthy doing?" Sykes said. "He is having the entire news cycle overtaken by his purge of Liz Cheney, and I think that, you know, we are seeing the Republican Party -- by the way, the other reason it's stupid, of course, is that he's managed to raise Liz Cheney's profile dramatically. She is far more prominent today than she was a week ago. So if he thought he was putting an end to this, that was delusional."
Hours after the vote to punish Cheney for refusing to endorse Trump's lies, McCarthy insisted that no one was questioning the election results.
"Has he paid any attention to what the former guy is saying on a daily basis down in the orange Versailles?" Sykes said. "He's putting out one statement after another questioning the election, embracing one crazy conspiracy theory after another, and so here's a party that cannot tolerate Liz Cheney, cannot even have a vote on Liz Cheney, an open vote, but continues to be in the thrall of this guy who continues to deny that he lost the election and appears to be embracing weird notions of somehow overturning the election. So the crazy, the stupid and the dishonest very strong in the Republican Party."
05 13 2021 06 04 42 www.youtube.com