One former Congresswoman said many Republican men "would do better to have the guts and grit of" Rep. Cheney, who faced fierce backlash after voting to impeach Donald Trump in January

By Virginia Chamlee
April 23, 2021 05:10 PM
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Liz Cheney
Liz Cheney
| Credit: Tom Williams/getty

Republican women in Congress were "horrified" by sexist comments made about Rep. Liz Cheney by some of their male GOP colleagues, according to a recent New York Times Magazine report.

Cheney, a Republican representative from Wyoming, was one of 10 GOP lawmakers who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump after the deadly U.S. Capitol riot in January.

Cheney's vote led to backlash within the GOP Party — outlined in the Times Magazine report — and ultimately led to her censure by Republicans in Wyoming.

But some Republican women tell the Times it also led to sexist comments aimed at Cheney during a Feb. 3 meeting, where lawmakers debated to remove Cheney, 54, from House leadership positions.

The Times reports some Republican men who spoke during the meeting offered a range of criticisms — many subtly or blatantly sexist.

South Carolina Rep. Ralph Norman reportedly said "the other thing that bothers me, Liz, is your attitude. You've got a defiant attitude."

Florida Rep. John Rutherford reportedly griped that Cheney was not a "team player."

But it was Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Kelly's comments that drew the most ire from his female colleagues, according to the report.

"You look up into the stands and see your girlfriend on the opposition's side — that's one hell of a tough thing to swallow," Kelly said.

One female lawmaker reportedly yelled out: "She's not your girlfriend!"

The Times adds that other woman — either currently or formerly in Congress — later discussed the comment among themselves.

"We emailed that around, just horrified, commenting in real time," former Republican Congresswoman Barbara Comstock told the outlet.

Spokespeople for Reps. Norman, Rutherford and Kelly did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment Friday.

Liz Cheney
Liz Cheney
| Credit: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty
Liz Cheney
Liz Cheney
| Credit: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty

Comstock, 61, tweeted after the report was published Thursday that "a lot of [Republican] men would do better to have the guts and grit of ⁦[Cheney] and drop the Trump whiny misogyny."

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, one of the other 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump, called the Times report "absolutely accurate."

Kinzinger, 43, is quoted in the story, saying Cheney "is strong and actually stands for what she believes."

Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, was one of 10 Republican members of the house to vote in favor of impeachment.

The Republican Party's effort to oust Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, as the chair of the House Republican Conference ultimately failed with a 145-to-61 vote.

Cheney's vote to impeach Trump on one charge of "incitement of insurrection" came after five people died in the pro-Trump riot.

The Wyoming representative said in a statement at the time that Trump had "summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack."

In an appearance on Fox News Sunday following the vote, she remained undeterred in the decision.

"I think people all across Wyoming understand and recognize that our most important duty is to the Constitution," Cheney told Fox News host Chris Wallace. "And, as I've explained and will continue to explain to supporters all across the state and voters all across the state, the oath that I took to the Constitution compelled me to vote for impeachment and it doesn't bend to partisanship. It doesn't bend to political pressure."

Cheney added that "we need to make sure that we as Republicans are the party of truth" and ensure "that we are being honest about what really did happen in 2020."

Cheney was one of the Republicans mentioned by name during a speech Trump delivered prior to the riots, in which he told supporters to "march to the Capitol" and "fight like hell" to overturn the results of his election loss.

"The Liz Cheneys of the world, we got to get rid of them," Trump had said.

Earlier this month, Cheney said she would not endorse Trump if he ran for president again in 2024.