George W. Bush to hold fundraiser for Liz Cheney, a top Trump target

·Senior Writer
·3-min read

Former President George W. Bush will hold a fundraiser next month for the embattled Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., whose criticisms of former President Donald Trump have put her political career in jeopardy.

The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that Bush’s first campaign event of the 2022 midterms will be in support of Cheney. Her father, Dick Cheney, served two terms as Bush’s vice president. The fundraiser will take place in Dallas on Oct. 18.

His support of Cheney puts Bush at odds with Trump and his allies, who have targeted Cheney since she voted for his impeachment after the violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6. Cheney has also been outspoken in pushing back against Trump’s claims that the 2020 election was stolen, repeatedly rebutting the former president’s baseless conspiracy theories. A Yahoo News/YouGov poll in August found that two-thirds of Republicans still believe the election was rigged.

George W. Bush attends a Naturalization Ceremony on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
George W. Bush in April. (Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Earlier this month, Trump formally announced his endorsement of a Wyoming attorney, Harriet Hageman, in her primary bid against Cheney. Hageman unsuccessfully ran for the Republican nomination for governor in 2018.

“Unlike RINO Liz Cheney, Harriet is all in for America First,” Trump said in an emailed statement at the time. “Harriet has my Complete and Total Endorsement in replacing the Democrats number one provider of sound bites, Liz Cheney. Make America Great Again!”

Cheney replied to the announcement on Twitter, posting a screenshot of Trump’s statement and the message, “Here’s a sound bite for you: Bring it.”

Cheney first won election to the House in 2016 after a failed 2014 Senate bid. The last time a Republican member of Congress from Wyoming lost a primary challenge was in 1968. Dick Cheney represented Wyoming in the House for a decade before he became defense secretary under President George H.W. Bush in 1989.

In May, Cheney’s Republican colleagues in the House ousted her from a top leadership position, because of her criticisms of Trump. She has also faced scrutiny from party leadership back home in Wyoming.

“There has not been a time during our tenure when we have seen this type of an outcry from our fellow Republicans, with the anger and frustration being palpable in the comments we have received,” said the Wyoming Republican Party in a statement, after Cheney announced her intention to vote for impeachment.

Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., wearing a mask, in the Capitol on Aug. 24, at the time of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., in the Capitol on Aug. 24, at the time of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images)

Cheney further angered her Republican colleagues by joining the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol. She is one of only two Republicans on the panel, the other being Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger.

Bush and Trump –– the only two living Republican presidents –– have long had a contentious relationship. In 2016, Trump defeated a slew of Republican presidential contenders in a GOP primary that included Jeb Bush, the former president’s brother. Trump has also been highly critical of George W. Bush’s time in office, and Bush refused to endorse Trump in both the 2016 and 2020 elections.

In an address on the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks earlier this month, Bush said, “We have seen growing evidence that the dangers to our country can come not only across borders, but from violence that gathers within,” which was interpreted as a reference to the violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

“There is little cultural overlap between violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home,” Bush said. “But in their disdain for pluralism, in their disregard for human life, in their determination to defile national symbols, they are children of the same foul spirit. And it is our continuing duty to confront them.”

Trump responded in a statement that accused Bush of leading “a failed and uninspiring presidency.”

“He shouldn’t be lecturing anybody!” Trump continued.

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