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Liz Cheney says Jim Jordan asked her to join the Freedom Caucus by pitching that the group needed a woman

Cheney Jordan
Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, left, and Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming in 2019.Alex Wong/Getty Images
  • Liz Cheney didn't feel the need to join the Freedom Caucus when she first joined Congress.

  • In her new book, Cheney wrote that Jim Jordan asked her to join the group by pointing to its lack of women.

  • "Tempting as this offer was, I took a pass," she wrote.

Even at the beginning of her first term in the House, Liz Cheney was skeptical of the Freedom Caucus.

Cheney, whose conservative pedigree was well-known as the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, didn't feel compelled to join the far-right group after her 2016 election. And Cheney relayed this sentiment to her then-constituents in deep-red Wyoming, which she detailed in her new book, "Oath and Honor."

But according to Cheney, Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, who at the time chaired the Freedom Caucus, sought to convince her to join the group by pitching that they needed a female member within its ranks.

"It went something like this: 'Would you consider joining the Freedom Caucus? We don't have any women, and we need one,'" Cheney wrote of Jordan's pitch. "Tempting as this offer was, I took a pass."

Cheney's predecessor, now-Sen. Cynthia Lummis, was a member of the Freedom Caucus during her time in the lower chamber. But Cheney in her new book said she wasn't in agreement with some of the group's rules and touted her own record of conservatism against some of those very same members.

"I wasn't comfortable with a number of things about the group, including their rule requiring every member of the caucus to support any position that was held by 80 percent of the membership," she wrote. "It didn't seem right to me for a member of Congress to agree to have their vote bound by anything other than their obligations to their constituents and to the Constitution."

"My voting record was more conservative than those of many members of the Freedom Caucus, a supposedly 'conservative' group," she added.

The Freedom Caucus rose to fame as an insurgent group that was designed to force GOP leaders to capitulate to more conservative policy. Technically speaking, the group's membership is not officially public, but many lawmakers have made their membership public. At times, their tactics have backfired as Republican speakers were forced to rely on House Democrats to obtain the votes needed to pass critical pieces of legislation. Former Speaker John Boehner of Ohio has called Jordan a "legislative terrorist."

Cheney, a former vice chair of the House January 6 committee who during her last term in Congress became one of former President Donald Trump's sharpest GOP critics in the aftermath of the 2020 election, lost her Republican primary to now-Rep. Harriet Hageman last year.

Jordan's office did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

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