By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
U.S. Rep Liz Cheney is taking part in a “deeply corrupt game,” a colleague from Florida said during a rally at the state Capitol on Thursday.
“The establishment power brokers like Liz Cheney are climbing in a deeply corrupt game,” said U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, who traveled to Cheyenne to criticize Cheney. “We do not have to be condemned to some grim fate.”
Speaking during the rally attended by several hundred people, Gaetz urged strong Republicans to run against Cheney in the 2022 election.
State Sen. Anthony Bouchard, R-Cheyenne, has announced he will run against Cheney, largely because of her vote to impeach former President Donald Trump.
Gaetz has been very vocal in his opposition of votes by Cheney and nine other House Republicans to impeach Trump because of allegations he incited a riot that led to an invasion of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
However, during the rally, he also criticized Cheney’s support of military action abroad, saying she had blood on her hands.
“Every day, I see the cost of the wars Liz Cheney has advocated for,” he said. “I see the tearful goodbyes in airports, the marriages destroyed, the parenting that’s interrupted, the drug abuse, the suicides, lost limbs, lost minds, lost lives, lost hope.”
Gaetz was invited to the rally by Laramie Rep. Ocean Andrew, R-Laramie.
Gaetz had said before his Cheyenne appearance that his reason for coming to Wyoming was to protest Cheney’s impeachment vote and to talk about his vision for the Republican Party.
Gaetz told reporters earlier this week that he has never been a Cheney supporter, even prior to the impeachment vote.
“Let me be clear: Republicans really have no power in Washington, D.C., right now,” Gaetz previously said. “The principal job of the conference chair (Cheney) is to carry the message of their fellow Republicans. Most of the members of the Republican Conference don’t believe Liz Cheney speaks for them.”
The House Republican Conference is responsible for electing the House Republican leadership, approving GOP member committee assignments, managing leadership-driven floor debates and executing a communications strategy within the party.
The conference will meet next week to discuss the roles of the chair and whether or not Cheney should be removed from her position.
“[Cheney] calls herself a leader in Washington, but to me, being a leader does not mean winning an election amongst a bunch of politicians,” Gaetz said at the rally. “Being a leader doesn’t even mean that you’ve lived a flawless personal life. Opposition is consistent with Liz Cheney. How can you call yourself a representative when you don’t represent the will of the people?”