Former President George W. Bush plans to lend his support to Rep. Liz Cheney (WY-R) during a Saturday call with her father Dick Cheney, his former vice president.
Freddy Ford, Bush’s chief of staff, said that the former president will thank the top House Republican for her service – just weeks after her vote to impeach then-President Donald Trump.
But he wouldn’t be drawn on whether he would back her ahead of a tough 2022 Primary.
‘We aren’t thinking about the next election cycle yet,’ Ford told CNN when asked , adding that they were a few months ahead of such a decision.
‘But I do know that President Bush is planning to call VP Cheney tomorrow for two reasons: to wish him a happy 80th birthday, and to thank him for his daughter’s service,’ he added.
Bush will be calling Dick Cheney for his 80th birthday on Saturday and to lend his support to Liz Cheney
‘I do know that President Bush is planning to call VP Cheney tomorrow for two reasons: to wish him a happy 80th birthday, and to thank him for his daughter’s service,’ said Freddy Ford, Bush’s chief of staff
Liz Cheney is up for re-election in 2022, and is already facing the prospect of a challenge in a primary as she’s endured intra-party criticism for her support of impeachment.
Matt Gaetz has declared war for the ‘soul’ of the Republican party, as he traveled to Cheney’s home state of Wyoming to drum up support for her ouster.
Cheney’s fate at home and in Washington will be one indicator of whether GOP traditionalists or Trump-aligned activists determine the direction of the party.
Her troubles have already served as a warning for Republicans in the Senate, most of whom signaled Tuesday they would vote to acquit Trump on the charge of inciting an insurrection.
Meanwhile, Trump’s political action committee, Save America, is using a poll it commissioned on Cheney’s popularity with Wyoming voters to taunt her — and show other Republicans what may lie ahead when they don’t support Trump.
Cheney’s defenders cast the blowback from her vote as ginned up by attention-seekers.
Liz Cheney is up for re-election in 2022, and is already facing the prospect of a challenge in a primary as she’s endured intra-party criticism for her support of impeachment
‘Wyoming doesn’t like it when outsiders come into our state and try to tell us what to do,’ said Amy Edmonds, a former Cheney staffer and past state legislator.
But there’s little doubt the lawmaker in her third term is facing homegrown opposition in a state where the establishment’s once-firm grip has been slipping.
Republican state Sen. Anthony Bouchard, a gun rights activist, announced his primary challenge against Cheney one week after her impeachment vote, making a clear effort to rally Trump fans.
‘The swamp was after me,’ Bouchard said of his recent reelection to the statehouse despite being badly outspent.
‘I just don’t think that works any more in Wyoming. I think the people have figured it out.’
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) (L) leaves the Wyoming State Capitol after speaking to a crowd during a rally against Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) on January 28
Whether pro-Trump Republicans can unite behind a single Cheney opponent remains a big question.
The call from Bush on Saturday will not mark the first time that he has outwardly opposed Trump. Bush chastised the ‘reckless behavior of some political leaders’ when commenting on the chaos that unfolded on Jan. 6.
‘I am appalled by the reckless behavior of some political leaders since the election and by the lack of respect shown today for our institutions, our traditions, and our law enforcement,’ he added. ‘The violent assault on the Capitol — and disruption of a Constitutionally-mandated meeting of Congress — was undertaken by people whose passions have been inflamed by falsehoods and false hopes.’
Following the election, Bush called then President-elect Joe Biden and said that the election was ‘fundamentally fair’ and that ‘its outcome is clear,’ even though Trump had a right to pursue legal challenges.
He was also in attendance for the inauguration and released a statement of congratulations to President Biden.
‘Though we have political differences, I know Joe Biden to be a good man, who has won his opportunity to lead and unify our country,’ Bush said. ‘The President-elect reiterated that while he ran as a Democrat, he will govern for all Americans. I offered him the same thing I offered Presidents Trump and Obama: my prayers for his success, and my pledge to help in any way I can.’