In a very unusual move, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has officially endorsed Harriet Hageman, the attorney running against incumbent Liz Cheney in the upcoming primary for her at-large Wyoming district.
McCarthy issued a statement to the Federalist confirming he’s backing Cheney’s opponent.
“After spending time with Harriet, it is readily apparent she will always listen and prioritize the needs of her local communities and is focused on tackling our nation’s biggest problems,” McCarthy said.
He added that he is looking forward to working with her for years to come.
“I look forward to welcoming Harriet to a Republican majority next Congress, where together, we will hold the Biden Administration accountable and deliver much-needed solutions for the American people,” added McCarthy.
HUGE HUGE HUGE: GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy Endorses Top Cheney Opponent Harriet Hageman In Wyoming https://t.co/OTSKUvU70E
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) February 17, 2022
McCarthy Calls Liz Cheney a ‘Pelosi Republican’
Kevin McCarthy has been hinting at his opposition to Liz Cheney’s re-election bid repeatedly since she defied him by joining the Democrat-led select committee investigating the Capitol riot.
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McCarthy had chosen Republicans to represent the panel but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi nixed his selections and instead chose anti-Trump handmaidens, Cheney and Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-IL).
The GOP leader has referred to Cheney as a “Pelosi Republican.”
Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy refers to Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney as “Pelosi Republicans.” pic.twitter.com/0hJqxSrWv0
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) July 26, 2021
Considering her a ‘Pelosi Republican’ is more than her own party is willing to do in Wyoming.
The Wyoming GOP voted in November to no longer formally recognize Cheney as a member of the Republican Party at all.
By a vote of 31-29, “the Wyoming Republican Party will no longer recognize Liz Cheney as a member of the GOP.” https://t.co/eci9ofnbja
— David Gura (@davidgura) November 15, 2021
Cheney was stripped of her No. 3 leadership role in the House last May in an overwhelming vote.
And earlier this month, Cheney and Kinzinger were formally censured by the Republican National Committee (RNC). The censure states that the two lawmakers were “participating in a Democrat-led persecution of ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse.”
Is Hageman a Good Choice?
Harriet Hageman also earned an endorsement from both President Trump himself and from the woman who replaced Cheney in her leadership role, Representative Elise Stefanik (R-NY).
“I’m proud to endorse Harriet Hageman in her race to unseat Liz Cheney,” Stefanik said. “House Republicans were ready for a change when I took over as Conference Chair, and it’s resoundingly clear that Wyoming families are too.”
BREAKING: I’m excited to endorse @HagemanforWY for Congress!
Harriet is a true America First patriot who has what it takes to restore true representation for Wyoming families. https://t.co/Ah9b3tgqiE
— Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) February 18, 2022
While she may not have McCarthy and Stefanik in her corner, Liz Cheney has the market cornered in ‘Never Trump’ Republicans like herself.
Previous reports have indicated she is receiving financial and moral support from former Speakers of the House Paul Ryan and John Boehner, along with Kinzinger, in her bid to win reelection in 2022.
Former President George W. Bush made a maximum donation to Cheney’s campaign and even appeared at a fundraiser for the congresswoman back in October.
George W. Bush’s Only 2021 Campaign Donations Were to Anti-Trump Republicans https://t.co/clVKLi0XUL
— PETER MAER (@petermaer) February 1, 2022
Oddly enough, Hageman herself was once in the same boat – a vociferous supporter of Liz Cheney and a NeverTrumper.
A video posted by CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski shows Hageman referring to Cheney as a “proven, courageous, constitutional conservative.”
Hageman went on to accuse certain forces of trying to shut down “true conservatives” like Cheney.
NEW: A video from April 2016 shows Liz Cheney’s Trump-backed primary Harriet Hageman rebuking Trump and enthusiastically endorsing Cheney for Congress. Hageman even cites her own Trump opposition in her Cheney endorsement. https://t.co/W4YhR0yzxV pic.twitter.com/Cu3aBKsyWN
— andrew kaczynski (@KFILE) September 30, 2021
Hageman also tried to stop Donald Trump from getting the Republican nomination in 2016 and, sounding an awful lot like Cheney, called him “racist and xenophobic.”
The New York Times reports that Hageman was “part of the final Republican resistance to his ascent in 2016,” engaging in a procedural ploy at the Republican National Convention to replace Trump with Senator Ted Cruz.
Things have since been seemingly smoothed over, with Trump also endorsing the Wyoming lawyer.
“Unlike RINO Liz Cheney, Harriet is all in for America First,” he insists. “Harriet has my complete and total endorsement in replacing the Democrats’ number one provider of sound bites, Liz Cheney.”
Here’s a sound bite for you: Bring it. pic.twitter.com/VmET1JUs12
— Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) September 9, 2021