After former President Donald Trump endorsed Harriet Hageman, and Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., tweeted back “bring it,” Hageman did not back down in a race that already promises to be heated, if not entertaining.
“Planning on it. If you’re not busy meeting with Pelosi come back and visit us in Wyoming sometime.”
Hageman’s criticism suggested that Cheney, the former House GOP Conference chair, spends too much time in Washington versus her home state — where Hageman and myriad other Republicans are gearing up for the midterm primary.
Her tweet also strikes at what got Cheney removed as the No. 3 House Republican: siding with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on impeaching the former president after he left office.
Also, Republicans have sought to get Cheney booted from the party altogether after she broke from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and decided to join Pelosi’s Jan. 6 Selection Committee.
McCarthy has offered five Republicans to Pelosi’s panel, but she rejected some of them, leading him to pull them all and vow that Republicans would not participate in a partisan review of the events of Jan. 6.
“Unlike RINO Liz Cheney, Harriet is all in for America First,” Trump wrote in a statement Thursday from his Save America PAC. “Harriet has my complete and total endorsement in replacing the Democrats’ number one provider of sound bites, Liz Cheney.”
Cheney then fired off the tweet that spurred Hageman’s criticisms of her time spent in Washington and with Pelosi.
“Here’s a sound bite for you: Bring it,” Cheney tweeted.
Trump has already endorsed several Republicans challenging GOP incumbents: Kelly Tshibaka, who is running against Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska; Michigan state Rep. Steve Carra, who is trying to unseat longtime Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich.; former White House aide Max Miller, who is running against Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, R-Ohio; and Joe Kent, who is challenging Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash.
All of these incumbents voted to impeach Trump.
Trump met with Hageman last month as he assessed the potential candidate pool, hoping an early endorsement would help clear the field and prevent a crowded primary that might help Cheney’s reelection bid. At least half a dozen other Republicans have announced their intentions to run.
Hageman was an early supporter of Cheney’s unsuccessful attempt in 2013 and 2014 to oust popular U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi. But in a statement from her campaign, she said she is “taking on Cheney, who has angered Wyoming voters and was censured by the Wyoming Republican Party earlier this year, largely for her support of the impeachment of President Donald J. Trump.”
“The people of Wyoming deserve leaders who reflect their views and values, but Liz Cheney betrayed us because of her personal war with President Trump, who won Wyoming by massive majorities twice,” Hageman said. “Cheney has lost the trust of the people of our state, just as she has lost any ability to be a leader for us in Washington, D.C.”
Hageman finished third in a six-way Republican gubernatorial primary in 2018, getting 21% of the vote. She grew up on a ranch near Fort Laramie in southeastern Wyoming. She holds undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Wyoming.
She is listed as a senior attorney with the New Civil Liberties Alliance, a Washington-based law firm that aims to protect “constitutional freedoms from violations by the administrative state,” according to its mission statement.
Her Cheyenne law firm touts its ties to Wyoming’s ranching industry and Hageman’s involvement in lawsuits over wolves reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park, grazing on U.S. Bureau of Land Management land, and water rights.
She recently expressed support on Facebook for a new Texas law banning most abortions and has been a longtime cheerleader for the state’s coal mining industry.
Undercutting a common line of attack against Cheney — that she spent most of her life outside Wyoming before moving to Jackson Hole in 2012 — Hageman told The Associated Press in 2013 that Cheney’s family had a long history in Wyoming and that such criticism was a “distraction.”
Hageman also donated $1,500 to Cheney for her successful first run for the U.S. House in 2016, and photographs of the pair together were already being used as campaign fodder.
Material from The Associated Press was used to compile this report.