A new ad for Rep. Liz Cheney’s re-election campaign features a leader from a bygone era of the Republican Party excoriating the leader of the current one.
“In the 246-year history of our nation, there has never been an individual who has posed a greater threat to our republic than Donald Trump,” said Ms Cheney’s father, the former vice president. Dick Cheney, in the ad, published less than two weeks before. Wyoming primary election on August 16.
He praised Ms Cheney, who has become a pariah among republicans for his criticism of Mr. Trump and his work as Deputy House Committee Chair investigating the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol, for “honoring his oath to the Constitution when so many in our party are too scared to do so.”
The minute-long announcement landed with a bang on social media Thursday, where a single copy has racked up seven million views. But in Wyoming, where Mr Trump won 69.9% of the vote in 2020 – more than any other state – he is highly unlikely to sway a significant number of voters in favor of Ms Cheney.
For decades before Mr. Trump transformed the party, Mr. Cheney was one of the most influential Republicans in the country: he was White House chief of staff under President Gerald Ford, secretary of defense under President George HW Bush and Vice President under President George W. Bush, a position in which he wielded uncommon power and was an architect of the US invasion of Iraq. But the Republican Party of 2022 bears little resemblance to the party in which it held power.
At least six of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump will leave Congress in January: four of them are retiring and two were defeated in the primaries, and two more still waiting for the first results days after voting ended in Washington state. It would take a stunning political shift for Ms Cheney to avoid joining them. In a Casper Star-Tribune Poll last month, she trailed her opponent, Harriet Hageman, by 22 percentage points.
In light of those numbers, the announcement, like many of Ms. Cheney’s public statements as head of the Jan. 6 committee, seemed more a call to history than to the electorate.
Mr. Trump “tried to steal the last election by using lies and violence to hold on to power after voters rejected him,” Mr. Cheney said in the ad. “He’s a coward. A real man wouldn’t lie to his followers. He lost his election and he lost big. I know it, he knows it, and deep down I think most Republicans know it.
Of his daughter, he continued: “There is nothing more important she will ever do than lead the effort to ensure that Donald Trump is never near the Oval Office again – and she will succeed. .”
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