The Republican governor of Maryland described Donald Trump’s presidency as “the worst four years” that his party has “ever” endured.
Larry Hogan, a frequent Trump critic, told NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday that the GOP has now shaped itself into a “sort of a circular firing squad” against its members.
“I think we’ve got to get back to winning elections again, and we have to be able to have a Republican Party that appeals to a broader group of people,” Mr Hogan said. “And we have to get back to having a bigger tent as [Ronald] Reagan talked about and not continuing to – look, we had the worst four years we’ve had, ever, in the Republican Party.”
Republicans lost the White House and control of both chambers of Congress with 2018 and 2020 elections.
“Successful politics is about addition and multiplication, not subtraction and division,” Mr Hogan said.
Republican leadership is lining up behind efforts to unseat Ms Cheney as GOP conference chair – House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Minority Whip Steve Scalise and the former president have endorsed Elise Stefanik, who has embraced Mr Trump’s baseless election fraud narrative, including an ongoing “audit” of election results in Arizona steered by Republicans in the state senate.
Ms Cheney was among 10 House Republicans who joined Democrats to vote to impeach then-president Trump for his role inciting supporters to riot at the US Capitol on 6 January in an effort to block Joe Biden’s presidency.
Republicans should be “focusing on solving problems or standing up and having an argument that we can debate the Democrats on some of the things that the Biden administration is pushing through,” Mr Hogan said.
Watch: GOP leader McCarthy will vote to oust Cheney