By Leo Wolfson, State Political Reporter
U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney will not give Harriet Hageman her vote.
On Sunday’s “Meet the Press,” Cheney said Hageman, the Republican winner of the August primary, will not get her endorsement because of Hageman’s position on the 2020 election.
The former President Donald Trump-endorsed frontrunner to be Wyoming’s next U.S. House representative has pushed election fraud claims during her campaign.
“I think no one of any party should be voting for people who are election deniers, and I think we have to be clear what it means to be an election denier,” Cheney said.
Cheney also said she won’t vote for secretary of state candidate Chuck Gray, a Republican state representative from Casper. Gray is largely expected to be the next secretary of state in Wyoming as he faces no opponent in the general election.
Both Gray and Hageman have expressed skepticism about the results of the 2020 presidential election. Hageman has said it was “rigged” and a “travesty,” while Gray hosted free showings of the movie “2000 Mules” during his campaign. The movie relies on questionable evidence to conclude that ballot boxes were stuffed with fraudulent votes in key swing states.
That Cheney, who was beaten by Hageman in a landslide, won’t endorse the choice of her party’s voters can only be a positive for Hageman, said her campaign manager Carly Miller.
“That’s the best endorsement Harriet could have,” Miller said in response to Cheney’s statements.
Cheney also mentioned displeasure for what she sees as like-minded candidates in other states like Arizona, where gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake and secretary of state candidate Mark Finchem both have been vocal 2020 election deniers. Lake also has maintained she won’t accept the certified result of Arizona’s election if she doesn’t win.
“They have both said, ‘We’ve looked at all of the facts, we’ve looked at the results of the election in 2020, we’ve looked at the law, we’ve looked at the fact that the courts all ruled against Donald Trump, we’ve looked at the audits and the recounts. We are willing to ignore all of that, and we are saying we would not have certified that election,’” Cheney said. “They’re telling you that they’ll only certify an election they agree with.”
Trump Nomination Would ‘Shatter’ Party
Cheney also gave her first indications that she suspects a new political party will form if Trump becomes the Republican nominee in the 2024 election, made up by conservative voters who don’t support him.
“If Donald Trump is the nominee of the Republican Party, the party will shatter and there will be a conservative party that rises in its place,” she said.
Cheney wouldn’t directly speculate about the possibility she may run for president in 2024, but wouldn’t rule it out if it stops Trump from becoming president again.
“We will do whatever it takes,” she said about denying Trump a second term. “He will not be the president of the United States again.”
Cheney said Americans should not vote for candidates who don’t support the work of the United States House Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6 Attack on the United States Capitol.
As vice chair of the committee, Cheney recently made a successful motion to subpoena Trump to testify before the panel. In response, Trump issued a scathing 14-page letter to committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Mississippi titled “Peacefully and Patriotically.”
“The same group of Radical Left Democrats who utilized their Majority position in Congress to create the fiction of Russia, Russia, Russia, Impeachment Hoax #1, Impeachment Hoax #2, the $48 Million Mueller Report (which ended in No Collusion!), Ukraine, Ukraine, Ukraine, the atrocious and illegal Spying on my Campaign, and so much more, are the people who created this Committee of highly partisan political Hacks and Thugs whose sole function is to destroy the lives of many hard-working American Patriots, whose records in life have been unblemished until this point of attempted ruination,” Trump writes.
Wants National Audience
Trump has said he would be interested in testifying before the committee if it were held on live television.
“The committee treats this matter with great seriousness,” Cheney said. “And we are going to proceed in terms of the questioning of the former president under oath. It may take multiple days, and it will be done with a level of rigor and discipline and seriousness that it deserves.”
Cheney said the committee will not let Trump turn the event into a “circus,” a way she categorized his first debate with President Joe Biden during the 2020 election campaign.
Party Over Politics
Cheney also was pressed on the issue of whether parties should take precedence over politics. Virginia Gov. Glen Youngkin recently said he’ll choose loyalty to the Republican Party in defending his support for Lake in Arizona’ election.
“I think they are really indefensible decisions,” she said about supporting a party line above all else. “And, you know, I’ve said I think that Glenn Youngkin has done a good job as governor of Virginia, but nobody should be out advocating for the election of people who will not honor the sanctity of our elections process.
“And, you know, people who do that are in fact putting politics ahead of the Constitution and ahead of the country.”
Cheney clarified that although she believes Democrats don’t defend the Constitution, she finds Republican candidates who deny the results of the election more dangerous.
She also denounced House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-California, for advocating that the United States stop financially supporting Ukraine in its war against Russia.
“We need to demonstrate that the United States of America recognizes we have to be a leader in the world,” she said.
Fall From GOP Grace
Cheney also spoke Sunday of becoming an ostracized figure within her own party less than two years removed from being the No. 3 ranking Republican in Congress.
“I really believed growing up in the family that I grew up in that, you know, when the chips were down, people would do the right thing,” she said. “And it turns out that not very many people do.”