Rand Paul Endorses Liz Cheney’s Opponent in Wyoming House Race
The battles continue. Last week, it was Paul Ryan battling celebrities, including Donald Trump, Sarah Palin, Ann Coulter, Lars Larson (but not Eric Erickson), plus Chuck Muth (from Nevada). Ryan won. Now, it’s Liz Cheney, daughter of the former vice president. And now, it’s Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, endorsing her opponent, state Sen. Leland Christensen, hoping to upset Cheney, according to Politico.
The Kentucky senator has a long-standing feud going with Cheney’s father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, and that disagreement is again coming to the surface on the eve of an eight-way congressional contest that Paul wants to make into a referendum on the George W. Bush administration’s foreign policies. . .
In a telephone interview with POLITICO on Sunday night, Paul got in several digs at Dick Cheney’s record on war, torture and government spending while offering his endorsement to Christensen.
“It’s important that there are different varieties of Republicans,” Paul said. “I think there are big government Republicans who believe that they want sort of an imperial presidency that can take us to war anywhere and everywhere at any time.”
“And then there are those of us who believe that the Constitution was very explicit that the power to go to war was given to the legislature and was secondary to debate, that we’d have significant debate over going to war, that things like going to the Geneva Convention are important, that torturing prisoners is not something that’s acceptable, that deficits do matter,” Paul added.
But Wyoming folk have shown a distaste for “carpetbaggers” involved in state politics. . .
This is Liz Cheney’s second attempt at elected office. Her 2013 campaign against incumbent GOP Sen. Mike Enzi bottomed out months before the primary, amid criticism she’d only recently moved to Wyoming from Virginia. . .
Paul also took a swing at Liz Cheney over her residency, even though she’s lived in Jackson Hole since 2012.
“I think it’s important to actually live out there,” the senator said. “I think that’ll also be a question whether people are actually from Wyoming or coming in from Virginia and places like that.” [–The Kentuckian said, without acknowledging the irony of his involvement. (editor’s note)]
Cheney has her own outside backers. . .
Cheney is seen as the front-runner in her bid to win the at-large House seat that her father held nearly 30 years ago. The former high-ranking State Department official from the Bush administration has the financial backing of many of her father’s closest associates, including former President George W. Bush, Karl Rove and Donald Rumsfeld.
The Daily Caller offered more from Paul.
“I think also the Obama presidency has consumed too much power with regard to war,” Paul told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “And I think the Cheneys have been largely in favor of more power for the presidency.” . . .Paul said he believes Cheney, like her father, would support a running deficit if elected.
“You’ll recall Dick Cheney’s quote back from early after 9/11 saying deficits don’t matter and I think really there is a difference in the party between big government Republicans – those not concerned with deficits – and with those of us that believe in the Constitution and think the government should be very small.”
Here’s Liz’ father responding to the question that Reagan showed that deficits don’t matter.
Paul also slammed the Cheney family about their support of wars.
“I think the Cheneys would have troops in 20 different countries,” Paul continued. “They recently had a debate in Wyoming and she said as much, that she’s for having wholesale troops back in the Middle East and advocated for not only troops in the Middle East but advocated enhanced interrogation – what others have called torture.”
It looks like an uphill battle for Rand and all, according to the Denver Post, noting that, “Former Sen. Alan Simpson also is among Cheney’s supporters for the job her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, first won 40 years ago.” But she does have opponents, including—
— State Sen. Leland Christensen, of Alta, a former sheriff, county commissioner and U.S. Army special operations forces soldier who accused Cheney on Facebook on Thursday of “using millions of out-of-state dollars and her Dad’s last name to try to buy the election.”
— State Rep. Tim Stubson, a Casper attorney who said in May: “If you think Washington is working well, then I think it’s a logical decision to send somebody that’s made their whole career within the Washington bureaucracy, like Liz Cheney.”
— Cheyenne attorney Darin Smith, a Christian Broadcasting Network executive who described himself Monday as “Wyoming born, Wyoming raised, Wyoming bred” and said: “If you vote for anybody but Darin Smith in this race, you are voting for Liz Cheney. I’m the only one that can beat her.”
So far, things look good for Liz, according to the Wyoming News. She’s leading her nearest opponent 21% to 8.7%–but with more than half of the electorate (52%) undecided. None of the other candidates have more than 2%.
The poll, commissioned by the Casper Star-Tribune and Wyoming PBS, was conducted by Pulse Research of Portland, Oregon, during the second week of July. Although some campaigns are believed to have surveyed Wyoming voters, none has released results to the public. . .
“We’re not taking the lead for granted,” Cheney said. . .”We’ve been focused on making sure people get out the vote early.”
Stubson believes being in second place [sic] in the poll gives him an advantage with undecided voters. “It’s really encouraging to us,” he said. “We know, of course, Liz Cheney has 100 percent name ID. We believe most of those 52 percent are up for grabs.”. . .
The large number of undecided voters isn’t unusual in a race with so many candidates, said John Marling, president of Pulse Research.
“We pushed to do everything we could to get them to make a commitment, ask them who are they are leaning to,” he said.
“Fifty-two percent is definitely undecided.”
On the other hand, if someone has “100% name recognition,” doesn’t that mean more than half of the people are not “planning” to vote for her?
The Wyoming primary is today – Tuesday, August 16.