CASPER, Wyo. — Former President Trump escalated his efforts to oust Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), blasting the congresswoman and pushing for voters to back her primary opponent on her home turf during a rally in Casper on Saturday.
Trump, joined by a group of congressional allies and his endorsed candidate Harriet Hageman, was greeted with a standing ovation by a crowd of roughly 9,000 supporters, where he accused Cheney — one of his most vocal critics — of being an ally to Democrats and failing to represent the views of Republicans in the Cowboy State.
“In many ways, worse than the general Democrats are the backstabbing, RINO Republicans and there is no RINO in America who has thrown in their lot with the radical left more than Liz Cheney,” Trump said to a cheering crowd. “She has gone crazy.”
“Wyoming deserves a congresswoman who stands up for you and your values. Not one who spends all of her time, going after your president in the most vicious way possible and loving vicious, bloody nonsensical wars,” he added.
Trump has made Cheney one of his top targets, often releasing statements taking aim at the Wyoming Republican over her vote to impeach him and decision to join the Jan. 6 select committee to investigate the riot at the Capitol.
The rally came just two days after Cheney, the scion of one of the most powerful Republican families in modern history, filed for reelection for the at-large seat and asserted she won’t back down from her rebukes of Trump.
Trump went on to attack Cheney’s father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, accusing the family of being “die-hard globalists and warmongers who have been pushing us into new conflicts for decades, spilling American blood and spending American treasure all over the world.”
Hageman, who spoke just ahead of Trump at the rally, accused Cheney of spending more time in Washington
“I have fought for Wyoming, and I will fight for you in Washington, D.C., and I will be taking that fight to D.C. as soon as I defeat Liz Cheney,” she told the crowd. “I am going to reclaim Wyoming’s lone congressional seat from the Virginian who currently holds it.”
Cheney was ousted as House Republican conference chair — the No. 3 position in House GOP leadership, which entails leading the caucus’ messaging efforts — over her unwavering criticisms of Trump and decision to vote for impeachment.
Her decision to join the select committee has led to further backlash from her GOP colleagues, state Republican officials and led to the RNC censuring the Wyoming Republican. But despite the pushback, Cheney has asserted she won’t walk back or hold back her criticisms of Trump.
Among those going after her at the rally in both in-person and video addresses were House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-NY), House Judiciary Ranking Member Jim Jordan (R-OH), former House Freedom Caucus Chairman Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Rep. Kat Cammack (R-FL) and Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO).
While polling has shown Cheney down in the polls, her allies argued that Trump-endorsed candidates having lost in Georgia indicate that his backing means less than it once did.
While some of the candidates he backed lost in Georgia, Trump argued that they largely “swept everything” blaming the state’s primary voting process — which is similar to Wyoming’s — which allows Democrats to participate in the GOP races for the losses.
“We swept everything. So a couple of little problems, we have a lot of people voting and you have to be very, very careful in that voting systems that are really bad. And when you allow Democrats to vote in a Republican primary, you know the governor was very nice, but I said governor you shouldn’t allow Democrats to vote in Republican primaries,” he said.
Cheney has voiced that she isn’t ruling out a presidential bid, which could lead to her facing off against Trump in a GOP primary in 2024.
The primary is slated to take place on August 16.