Representative Liz Cheney, a Republican from Wyoming who was ousted in her primary after being a steadfast and vocal critic of former President Donald J. Trump, called the losses by far-right candidates in the midterm elections a “clear victory for team normal.”
Ms. Cheney made the comments on Thursday at the Anti-Defamation League’s Never is Now summit on antisemitism and hate in New York City, where she was asked to assess the results of the election.
“I think that you saw in really important races around the country people coming together to say, ‘We believe in democracy. We believe in standing up for the Constitution and for the republic,’ and a real rejection of the toxicity and the hate and the vitriol and of Donald Trump,” Ms Cheney said.
Republicans entered the midterms with heightened expectations that the party’s candidates were poised to create a red wave, seizing on high inflation, the issue of crime and President Biden’s weak approval ratings.
But that level of success failed to materialize for the party, which has a chance at narrowly winning control of the House but could also fall short of flipping the Senate after several Trump-backed candidates lost key races. Control of both chambers is unclear as ballots are tallied in several too-close-to-call races.
Ms. Cheney overwhelmingly lost in the Republican primary in August to her Trump-backed opponent, Harriet Hageman, who was elected on Tuesday to Wyoming’s lone House seat with nearly 70 percent of the vote.
Mr. Trump’s supporters have vilified Ms. Cheney and nine other House Republicans who voted for Mr. Trump’s impeachment last year. One of them was re-elected on Tuesday and results are still being tallied for another. Ms. Cheney and three others lost in the primary, while four declined to seek another term.
Ms. Cheney, who serves as vice chairwoman of the Jan. 6 committee, crossed party lines to support three Democrats in Tuesday’s elections. Two of the Democrats she backed, Representatives Abigail Spanberger of Virginia and Elissa Slotkin of Michigan, won, while the third, Representative Tim Ryan of Ohio, lost his Senate race to J.D. Vance.
When the program’s moderator, the journalist Abigail Pogrebin, told Ms. Cheney that she could have never imagined in her lifetime the Republican congresswoman campaigning for Democrats, Ms. Cheney replied, “Yeah, mine either.”