Rosendale explains ‘Mission Accomplished’ tweet, and future of the GOP
HELANA (Daily Montanan) After a vote ousting embattled Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney from her leadership spot in the U.S. House of Representatives, Montana’s lone member of the House tweeted: “Mission Accomplished.”
The tweet gained national attention when late-night talk show host Stephen Colbert mentioned it on his program as an example of the infighting among House Republicans. Rep. Matt Rosendale was featured on several other news programs, including NBC Montana with Maritsa Georgiou, to answer questions about his vote and the future of the Republican Party.
Rosendale said that he’d pushed for Cheney’s ouster in February because he, along with other members, felt that Cheney, as conference chairwoman, wasn’t setting a forward-looking agenda for fellow Republicans, instead dwelling on the past.
At least three times in the span of the nine-minute interview, Rosendale referenced three main policy points that he said Republicans need to communicate with the American public, including closing and securing the borders; revitalizing the economy; and opening schools.
“We have a better way,” Rosendale told Newsmax.
He said he did not watch Cheney’s floor speech in which she rebuked fellow Republicans for following behind former President Donald Trump.
“I was busy with lots of other things,” Rosendale said.
He said that focusing on the past is not the key to winning back Congress in less than two years.
“Her fight with the former president is not productive,” he told NBC-Montana. “Any time we’re not promoting a positive message is lost time. If you’re going to be in party leadership, you have to unify the party and deliver a unified message.”
Yet, Rosendale also stopped short of lining up behind Trump as the current leader of the party. Instead, he said that he and other Republicans are waiting for a leader to emerge who is willing to pick up Trump’s “America First” policies.
“We’re waiting for another leader to step forward and push that agenda,” Rosendale said.
Rosendale didn’t answer questions posed to him about election fraud, but did say that he attended the inauguration of President Joe Biden.
“I do believe in our institutions,” Rosendale said.
Rosendale bristled during the interview when he was asked about his own vaccination status, something that has been repeatedly asked of him.
“I support everyone’s ability to make their own decisions on a vaccination and consult their own doctors,” he said, pointing out that he supported legislation that increased funding for vaccines and veterans.
When asked about his own status, though, he stopped.
“That’s very private,” Rosendale said. “That’s why we have HIPPA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).”
Follow-up requests for interview with the Daily Montanan were not returned on Friday.