McCarthy has kept silent about an anime video Gosar tweeted, which shows a character with his face killing Ocasio-Cortez.
The GOP leader also said nothing about the threats made to the 13 Republican lawmakers who voted for Joe Biden‘s infrastructure bill. One of them, Rep. Fred Upton, said he he has received death threats.
Cheney, who has become a vocal critic of former President Donald Trump and his influence on the party, said Gosar should be censured ‘for his continued indefensible activities.’
And she blasted McCarthy during an interview with the Associated Press.
‘It’s a real symbol of his lack of strength, the lack of leadership in our conference right now, and the extent to which he and other leaders seem to have lost their moral compass,’ Cheney said.
‘In a moment where you’ve got an avowed white nationalist in Rep. Gosar who has posted a video advocating the killing of another member, the idea that our leader will not stand against that but that he´s somehow going after and allowing attacks against 13 members who are conducting themselves in a serious and substantive way is really outrageous,’ she said.
Rep. Liz Cheney tore into Kevin McCarthy for not speaking up about Rep. Paul Gosar’s video threatening Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
There is a pressure campaign on House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy to speak up against the violent political rhetoric coming from some members of the Republican Party
Cheney was ousted from House Republican leadership after she voted for Trump’s second impeachment in regards to his actions around the January 6th insurrection. Trump has made her a top target in next year’s election and endorsed her primary opponent.
House Democrats, meanwhile, announced plans to censure Gosar for the threat against the New York Democratic congresswoman. No lawmaker has been censured since 2010, when then-Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., was censured in a 333-79 vote for ethics violations.
Democrats are joining the pressure campaign on McCarthy to speak up against the violent political rhetoric coming from some members of the Republican Party.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi called on McCarthy to ‘join in condemning this horrific video and call on the Ethics Committee and law enforcement to investigate.’
Gosar has defended his video, which shows a sword-wielding character with Gosar’s superimposed face using a jetpack to soar onto a rooftop before attacking Ocasio-Cortez, striking her with the sword as blood flies out of her.
‘It is a symbolic cartoon. It is not real life. Congressman Gosar cannot fly,’ Gosar said in a statement.
Ocasio-Cortez, meanwhile, said the Arizona Republican wouldn’t face ‘consequences’ because McCarthy ‘cheers him on with excuses.’
Gosar is a close ally of Trump’s and embraced the former president’s false claims that the election was stolen from him.
Additionally, the 13 Republican lawmakers who voted for the $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan have been subject to backlash from Trump and fellow GOP members of Congress.
Trump slammed the Republican House members as ‘RINOs’ – Republicans in name only – who should be ‘ashamed of themselves’ for their vote.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene posted their office numbers to her social media accounts, resulting in a tidal wave of calls with criticism and threats against the lawmakers.
And Rep. Matt Gaetz called for removing fellow Republican, Rep. John Katko, as the ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee after Katko voted for the infrastructure bill.
McCarthy has remained silent on the matter.
The Republican from California is working hard to win control of the House in next years midterm election and to overcome the conservative opposition that stopped his 2015 bid for speaker.
McCarthy is also keeping close to Trump, whose MAGA base is expected to play an outsized role in the 2022 primaries, sending lawmakers to Washington who are loyal to the former president.
But his courting of conservatives could hurt him among the party’s centrists – the representatives of the swing districts that can decide control of the chamber. Those include Reps. Upton, Don Bacon, and Katko – all of whom voted for Biden’s infrastructure bill.
Republican Rep. Paul Gosar defended his anime showing a character with his face killing Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, saying it’s a ‘cartoon’
The anime shows shows a sword-wielding character with Gosar’s superimposed face using a jetpack to soar onto a rooftop before attacking Ocasio-Cortez, striking her with the sword as blood flies out of her
Cheney isn’t McCarthy’s only public critic among GOP lawmakers.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, who has emerged as another Trump critic and joined Cheney as the only GOP lawmakers sitting on the special House panel investigating the Jan. 6th insurrection, also had tough words from McCarthy.
‘A party with leaders like Kevin McCarthy, that cannot stand up to the insanity from people like Greene, Gaetz, Gosar, etc, is going to have a hard time standing up to countries like China,’ he tweeted earlier this week.
He also tweeted ‘this will continue’ because – although McCarthy and the Republican Party could ‘condemn this proactively’ – they ‘won’t.’