It was a political heyday for at least three candidates who are running against Rep. Liz Cheney for Wyoming’s sole congressional seat.
The appointment by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Cheney to the Select House Committee to investigate the Jan. 6 attacks on the U.S. Capitol was an opportunity for challengers of the seat to turn the incumbent into a piñata. And they took many swings.
The three candidates had different strategies. Two opponents demanded that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy remove Cheney from her other committee assignments.
“I now call on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to immediately strip Liz Cheney of her committee assignments and replace her with a trustworthy conservative who will represent the Wyoming values that Liz Cheney has abandoned,” Cheyenne lawyer Darin Smith said.
Wyoming State Rep. Chuck Gray upped the ante by calling for her removal from the House Republican Caucus as well.
“She should immediately be removed from her committee assignments by the Republican Caucus and also be removed from the Republican Caucus itself,” Gray said.
Gray also said Cheney was a “sell-out to the radical socialists” and called her vote in favor of creating the select committee “disgusting, despicable, and un-American.”
Smith’s language, on the other hand, wasn’t as colorful, as he simply said the congresswoman “was not up to the task” of fighting and taking America back.
State Sen. Anthony Bouchard, R-Cheyenne, didn’t demand Cheney be removed from anything but did summarize Cheney’s appointment to his Twitter and Facebook followers in his descriptive way: “Did you miss the news today? Liz Cheney KISSED Pelosi’s ring and licked her shoes. #YUK.”
Bouchard also called himself a “Conservative Pitbull” who “will put America first.”
“Send me to the swamp, and I’ll take a chunk out of their leg,” he said.
Both Gray and Smith brought up the 2020 presidential election. Gray was more bold calling the election “illegitimate” and “fraudulent.” While Smith didn’t take a position on the validity of the election , he said there were “legitimate concerns with an election that appeared deeply flawed to millions of people.”
Smith also said the events surrounding the melee on January 6 had been mischaracterized.
“Contrary to popular belief, most people who attended the January 6th protest were peaceful and law-abiding citizens who were expressing their Constitutional right to speak, assemble, and protest,” he said.
“I know this because I was there. I’m proud to have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with thousands of my fellow citizens to express support for President Donald J. Trump and raise legitimate concerns with an election that appeared deeply flawed to millions of Americans,” Smith said. “Unfortunately, a small-mix of co-opters and/or poorly trained protesters crossed lines that should never have been crossed.”
Meanwhile, Cheney expressed appreciation for being named to the committee.
“I’m honored to have been named to serve on the January 6th select committee,” she said in a statement. “Congress is obligated to conduct a full investigation of the most serious attack on our Capitol since 1814.”