Elise Stefanik Opinion

Conservatives Justified For Looking Side-Eyed At Stefanik, Although She Has Done Better Lately

Pro-Trumpers can celebrate that one of the former president’s most vicious critics from within the Republican ranks, Rep. Liz Cheney, was unceremoniously ousted for fighting Donald Trump harder than she was willing to fight President Joe Biden and the Democrats.

But a CNSNews.com report questions whether this was a Pyrrhic victory.

That’s because in one sense Cheney’s successor, Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York, is less conservative than Cheney.

According to CNSNews.com, the American Conservative Union has graded lawmakers on adherence to conservative principles for 50 years, and its ratings are considered the “gold standard” for evaluating who’s who on the right.

Looking at the current Congress, Cheney claimed a 78-lifetime rating from the ACU, meaning she voted with the group’s priorities 78 percent of the time since she’s been in the House.

Stefanik’s lifetime ACU score: 44.

What’s worse, from conservatives’ perspective, is that she’s worked to pull that UP to 44 percent.

Annually between 2015 and 2018, the most Stefanik sided with the ACU was 40.7 percent.

Over the second half of Trump’s term, she voted with the right 59 percent and 57 percent, respectively.

As The New York Times characterized it, Stefanik is a “Trump convert.”

The GOP seemed determined to have a woman fill that role. In fact, as Reuters reported this week, “A woman has held the No. 3 House Republican leadership job since 2013, as the party has tried to broaden its appeal to independent voters, including suburban women.”

Still, as CNSNews.com suggested, there were better options than Stefanik.

According to the ACU rankings, Rep. Virginia Foxx of North Carolina has a lifetime grade of 93, as does Rep. Debbie Lesko of Arizona. They are the highest among GOP women. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers boasts an 85 score, Rep. Kay Granger of Texas has an 82 and Rep. Ann Wagner of Missouri has an 80.

And there were seven more Republican women lawmakers between Wagner and Stefanik.

But Stefanik had something the others didn’t: A nod from Trump.

Trump, perhaps repaying Stefanik’s staunch defense of the former president during his first impeachment trial, endorsed her for the job last week, calling her a “far superior choice” than retaining Cheney. 

In response, Stefanik said after winning, Trump “is a critical part of our Republican team. I believe that voters choose the leader of the Republican Party and President Trump is the leader that they look to.”

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